While we’ve all been contemplating how a wearable could benefit our lives, Michael J Fox and his foundation for Parkinson’s research have been considering how these devices might save them. Working in partnership with Intel, Fox intends to trial a device that would provide research data in real time that could be used for analysis.
In a statement issued by Todd Sherer, CEO of the Michael J Fox Foundation, explains the foundation of this trial:
“Nearly 200 years after Parkinson’s disease was first described by Dr. James Parkinson in 1817, we are still subjectively measuring Parkinson’s disease largely the same way doctors did then.”
Using wearable devices, patients would no longer have to keep manual diaries detailing their sleep patterns, tremors, and other physical movements. To date, these diaries are used to assist physicians with patient care, bridging the gap between visits. With this new technology, the data collected can be analyzed using a system powered by Cloudera; results can be collated individually and also as part of larger anonymous groups containing multiple patients.
Intel performed a successful proof of concept on this project with an initial group of 16 Parkinson’s patients and 9 control patients (using three different wearbles). During this trial, movements were recorded at a rate of 300 observations per second over a period of four days.
Identifying patterns that will be revealed using this new data collection method could prove invaluable as medical researchers work toward developing more effective treatments for the disease.