Tremor, the medical term for uncontrollable shaking, is one of the most common movement disorders in the world. Tremor diseases like Parkinson’s and Essential Tremor are not curable. Often, a tremor manifests in the upper extremities and as you can imagine the shaking makes everyday life difficult. For efficient medication regime and reducing symptoms and therefore improving the quality of life, tremor patients need individual therapy. Finding an appropriate medication can be challenging, it depends on how intense the tremor manifests and how the medication is affecting the symptom, which needs to be evaluated on a regular basis. To make an evaluation of tremor parameters easier and faster, Tremitas founder Tibor Zajki-Zechmeister invented the Tremipen®, a handheld measurement device in the shape of a pen that is as easy to use as a clinical thermometer.
Current Measuring Methods
Current devices for tremor assessment, like the EMG-Accelerometer, are time consuming and only available in clinics or doctor’s offices; also, they are expensive, huge in size and stationary. Due to that they are not often used and, given the fact that most patients see their doctors only twice a year, regular measurements are not performed. Patients need to subjectively describe their tremor to doctors at an appointment. The doctors also look at the shaking hands, assess if the tremor changed during the time of the current and the last visit and then need to decide how and if the medication is adjusted.
Overcome the Drawbacks
With the Tremipen® it is possible to measure tremor in just 30 seconds, and what is most important, event at home, without the assistance of clinical experts. With regular measurements patients can monitor the course of their disease and write down the results for their doctors so that they get an overview of how the tremor behaves. The two parameters that the Tremipen® measures are the tremor amplitude (intensity of shaking) and the tremor frequency. The easy to use device also supports doctors during first assessment of tremor and in diagnostic processes; different tremor diseases develop different tremor frequencies – e.g. the shaking of Parkinson’s is slower than the shaking of Essential Tremor.
The Evolution of the Idea
Zajki-Zechmeister set out to invent an easy to handle device for measuring tremor parameters, due to family members with tremor diseases whom he wanted to help. The project started as the topic of his bachelor thesis in biomedical engineering at the FH Kärnten. After finishing his studies, Zajki-Zechmeister worked on the first business concept together with the build! Gründerzentrum Kärnten. The Tremitas GmbH was founded in 2015 and turned into a project that is today supported by the Horizon-2020 SME fund, FFG, KWF, AWS, BABEG, WKO and private investors. In 2015, Tremitas was placed in the top 10 of the Innovationskongress, in 2016, it placed first in the Forum Velden Startup Award and in 2018, Tremitas received a scholarship for the Startup Academy. A successful clinical trial was performed at the Medical University of Graz in 2016, where it was proven that the Tremipen® measures tremor as efficient as other clinical devices. Today, the Tremipen® is on the brink of its CE certification as a medical device. The certification procedure is implemented together with the accredited notified body SIQ in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In August 2018, Tremitas received a certificate for their internal quality management system for the development of medical devices.
Today, the Tremitas GmbH consists of four members: founder Tibor Zajki-Zechmeister, BSc, who is COO and as biomedical engineer responsible for the technical development, founder Dr. Tara Geltner, who is CEO and responsible for business development, marketing and sales, Daniela Simonis as Quality Management Delegate and Verena Kanz who supports the team in marketing issues.
Tremitas GmbH, Lakeside B01/a, 9020 Klagenfurt