Dr. Faii Ong is the founder of GyroGear Ltd and the inventor behind GyroGlove. Inspired by a 103-year-old Parkinson’s patient that he saw at the cafeteria who had difficulties feeding herself, Faii came up with a solution — a wearable technology designed to reduce hand tremors in the 200 million people suffering from bodily tremors globally.
Drawing upon his background in medicine, science and bioengineering, Faii Ong sought to innovate at the intersection of all three fields. He earned his medical degree at Imperial College London and previously participated in high-profile research at Harvard Medical School and in Harvard-MIT’s Health Science and Technology Division, where he focused on medical devices, regenerative medicine, and stem cell therapy.
Along with his team of precision engineers and healthcare experts, GyroGear was awarded $3.3+ million in grant money, from the UK government and EU Horizon 2020 and walked away as the first runner-up in Southeast Asia’s SLINGSHOT 2020, a start-up competition with 7500+ competing entries after four years after GyroGear’s incorporation. In 2021, Foxconn announced a collaboration with Gyrogear to build an R&D center in Taiwan for the development of software, applications, and devices in digital healthcare that incorporates AI machine learning as well as clinical big data research, according to the company.
One day after witnessing an elderly woman with Parkinson’s struggle to feed herself in hospital due to severe hand tremor and being told by the doctor treating her that there was little they could do, Faii Ong, a medical student at Imperial College London (ICL) is set to find a solution. Instead of using drugs to counteract the effect of the disease, which have a finite lifespan and sometimes significant side effects, Faii worked with a team of engineers, designers and medics from ICL to create a glove that would directly stabilise the hands of someone suffering from tremors, by using gyroscopes. The forces produced by the gyroscope will compensate for any movement, regardless of intensity, to
retain its balance. The overall effect feels akin to moving one’s hand in a thick treacle, where deliberate movement is permitted, but tremors are dampened.
Around 10 million people worldwide and 127,000 people in the UK are affected by Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition that affects movement. One of its main symptoms is tremor, which in many cases can significantly affect people’s ability to eat and drink, dress, write or hold objects, making them dependent on carers. There is currently no cure for the disease, and medication used to control it can cause involuntary movements and impulsive behaviour. With GyroGlove, people with such conditions and Parkinson’s disease can regain control of their lives.