An interview with Lucy Jung from Charco Neurotech on August 17, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Lucy Jung is the CEO and a founder at Charco, a MedTech start-up working on a device for people with Parkinson’s to improve their quality of life. She has a background in industrial design, having studied it at university in South Korea. In 2019, she graduated from Imperial College London and Royal College of Art’s Innovation Design Engineering course.
Please tell me a little about your background.
I am a founder of Charco Neurotech, and a design engineer focused on projects related to people with long term conditions. I was involved with awareness since my time in university as an Industrial Design Engineer at Imperial College London and Royal College of Art.
Can you tell me more about Charco Neurotech?
Charco Neurotech is a team of engineers, scientists and designers who have been brought together with a common purpose: to bring back smiles for people with Parkinson’s. We have developed the CUE1, which is a non-invasive, wearable medical device that alleviates symptoms for people with Parkinson’s.
Bringing back smiles for people with Parkinson’s
In 2013 we met a gentleman who said, “I am very happy now but I look angry because Parkinson’s disease took away my smile”. Since then, our aim has been to bring smiles back for people with Parkinson’s.
Charco Neurotech is named after Professor Charcot who, in the 19th century, was first to notice the therapeutic effects of vibratory stimulation on Parkinson’s. Since his discovery, there have been many studies around the ability of stimulation to alleviate the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Improve your movements
The CUE1 combines the principles of focused vibrotactile stimulation and cueing, both evidenced by scientific literature to improve motor performance and alleviate freezing of gait for people with Parkinson’s.
Our testing has shown clinically significant improvements in motor symptoms whilst using the CUE1. Our testers have also reported a wide range of benefits including:
Smoother walking and movement
Regaining the ability to dance
Helping fine motor tasks
For more information see https://charconeurotech.com/what-is-cue1/
Wearing the CUE1
The CUE1 is a slim device and can be worn anywhere on the body, but we recommend the sternum for most effective symptom relief. It is discrete enough to be worn under clothing and is attached with a pair of medical adhesive patches. The two patches employ a ‘hook and loop’ system where one remains on the body, so the CUE1 can be easily taken on and off whenever needed.
Using the CUE1
Press the large tactile button on the face of the device once to turn vibration on, and a second time to turn it off. The CUE1 can be used continuously, or activated only when it is needed.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
Parkinson’s is unfortunately the fastest growing neurodegenerative condition, causing motor as well as non-motor impairments. Ensuring that quality of life for people with Parkinson’s can be improved while we continue our search for a cure is as important as the cure itself. Throughout our journey, we have met with many people with Parkinson’s and have seen firsthand what challenges they face day-to-day. There are a lot of benefits that technology can provide and even if it’s just a little bit of improvement, it can make a massive improvement to the quality of life.
What effect can Charco Neurotech have on an individual with Parkinson’s?
The device helps to alleviate symptoms for people with Parkinson’s, with theory suggesting the largest improvements for freezing, stiffness and slowness. However, the CUE1 helps everyone in different ways and with different symptoms as Parkinson’s is so individual.
What would you like to see as a future goal for Charco Neurotech?
Our goal is to bring back smiles for people with Parkinson’s, and we want to bring more smiles across the world. This involves continuing our research for future developments and continuing to innovate so that we can help more people with long term conditions.
What events do you participate in?
World Parkinson’s Congress.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
Our website is charconeurotech.com, and that is where people can find out more about Charco, the CUE1 and register their interest in the device. Our ‘What is the CUE1?’, ‘The science behind the CUE1’ and FAQ pages provide more useful information too. In any case, we can be contacted on email@example.com to help answer any questions anyone may have.