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University of Oxford spin-out gaitQ has raised £625,000 in pre-seed capital since March 2020 for its wearable smart device designed to help people with Parkinson’s overcome episodes of gait freezing.

The funding has so far come from the University of Oxford’s Fund V, which is managed by Parkwalk Advisors, and through private investment from Simon Godwin, who has recently been appointed as gaitQ chairman.

The company’s development will continue with support from Parkinson’s UK, which has confirmed that it will help facilitate activities involving patients and the public. The organisation will also assist in building qaitQ’s network and advising it on engaging with people who have Parkinson’s, as well as carers and clinicians etc.

gaitQ is currently recruiting people with Parkinson’s for a study to investigate device capabilities in a clinical setting. The system will include the option for personalised and adaptive cuing for people with Parkinson’s who experience gait-freezing.

Data gathered using gaitQ will, over time, assess episodes of gait freezing and walking quality to track the progression of the condition. The device is specifically designed to be discreet and unobtrusive.

gaitQ CEO Tristan Collins said: “The last year has been very important for gaitQ and we are pleased to have made significant progress towards the development of our system despite the challenging COVID-19 environment that we are operating in.”

“The investment, combined with the continued support from Parkinson’s UK, enhances the credibility and integrity of gaitQ and will help us achieve our mission of improving mobility in people with Parkinson’s. We are thankful for the continued support of our shareholders and are looking forward to receiving clinical validation from the upcoming clinical study which will take us to the next step in our development.”

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