Innovations to Manage Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative condition of the brain associated with motor symptoms (slow movement, tremor, rigidity and imbalance) and other complications including cognitive impairment, mental health disorders, sleep disorders and pain and sensory disturbances. Statistically, Parkinson’s disease is thought to affect more than four million people worldwide. On a most positive note, in recent years, healthcare innovations in managing Parkinson’s disease have been in the spotlight, and in this article, we will explore some of the new advancements in this area.
Parky: Monitoring Parkinson’s disease through an Apple Watch App
In November 2022, H2o Therapeutics, the company behind the Apple Watch App, Parky, announced that it has been given the FDA 510(k) clearance. The app is capable of monitoring symptoms including tremors and dyskinesia in real time through the Apple Watch. In addition, the tool allows users and medical professionals to share meaningful and reliable data. In a news release, the company said the app leverages the Apple-developed Movement Disorder API tool. As a result, the app helps medical professionals develop a clinical profile of the patient outside of the clinic.
Remote monitoring to track Parkinson’s disease progression
Arguably, we are in the era of a highly accessible as well as miniaturised technological golden age that enables smarter caregiving and greater independence for both the patient and caregiver. What was a distant vision is now fast becoming a reality. For instance, a study published in npj Digital Medicine found that a remote patient monitoring (RPM) method, called the Parkinson’s Disease Virtual Motor Exam (PD-VME), that involves the use of a wearable smartwatch, effectively tracks Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients and their motor functions.
Wearable accelerometer to monitor Parkinson’s disease progression
Sometimes the information provided by the patient or caregiver to the doctor may not be accurate or complete, resulting in a less-than-ideal patient outcome. With a wearable medical device such as STAT-ON™, it assists the healthcare professional by providing continuous monitoring in home environments, and objective data on Parkinson’s Disease motor symptoms, resulting in more accurate diagnostics, and a better quality of life for patients. Perhaps one of the advantages is that the device does not require any interaction from the patient, making STAT-ON a highly practical motion-tracking device for Parkinson’s disease patients to adopt.
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