Wearable monitor a 'game changer' in Parkson's fight, study shows

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Parkinson's disease neurodegenerative diseases Neurology monitor

Studies show a wearable monitor, described as a ‘game changer’ in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease (PD) has proven it is more than 95% accurate, PD Neurotechnology says.

And while PD can’t be reversed, the deterioration of symptoms can be delayed, a professor piloting the monitor, has found.

The monitoring device​ from PD Neurotechnology, that uses wearable and artificial intelligence (AI) to track and assess symptoms has been the subject of a multi-site clinical study analysing its performance. The results have been published​ in Frontiers in Neurology, a peer-reviewed clinical neurology journal.

Automated assessments of PD patients at three European hospitals were compared with physicians’ clinical evaluations and symptom diaries. The purpose of the study was to find out whether the device provided a reliable and feasible means of informing treatment plans.

Patients wore the five sensors the device has on their trunk and limbs which gathered data about timing and severity of symptoms, and machine learning algorithms to complete its assessments.

Expert evaluation 

Statistical analysis demonstrated a high level of accuracy in symptom detection and a strong correlation with expert evaluation when assessing their severity, the study showed.

The monitor achieved accuracy and specificity levels of 99% or more when detecting mild to severe dyskinesia, gait impairment, wrist, and leg tremor, and at least 96% when detecting ‘off’ periods when Parkinson’s symptoms re-emerge between medication doses.

A second study, details of which were also published in Frontiers in Neurology and confirmed that the monitor can be used effectively and easily by patients and caregivers, taking just five minutes, on average, to attach the sensors, even for patients at later stages of the disease. Automatic recording and identification of each sensor’s location on the patient’s body were found to further improve the ease of using the device.

Nikos Moschos, managing director of PD Neurotechnology, said: “Our monitoring device is a game-changer in the fight against Parkinson’s. Studies confirm that it is effective and easy to use.

“We have seen time and again how it facilitates better treatment decisions for patients based on real-world data. By providing accurate and continuous data on symptoms, together with an ecosystem to collect and present effectively, we are always aiming to help improve the management of Parkinson’s and hopefully enhance patients' quality of life.”

Parkinson's Foundation Centre of Excellence 

The peer-reviewed papers are part of a growing body of evidence highlighting the accuracy and efficacy of PDMonitor. Preliminary findings from the analysis of data about 267 patients in Greece provide evidence that continuous telemonitoring in clinical practice can lead to the alleviation of Parkinson’s symptoms.

The average ‘off’ time experienced by patients in this study fell for two consecutive quarters following the introduction of PDMonitor.

Professor Kallol Chaudhuri is head of Parkinson's Foundation Centre of Excellence at King's College Hospital. He has been piloting PDMonitor with private patients since March 2022, said: “Parkinson’s is the world’s second most common neurodegenerative disease and a significant cause of disability at a huge societal cost.  Patients’ quality of life and wellness strongly depend on the consistent, prompt monitoring of disease progression and optimal timing and dosing of the prescribed therapy.”

In January 2023, the monitor was one of five devices to be conditionally recommended for remote monitoring of Parkinson's disease to inform treatment by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. This decision opened the door to the use of PDMonitor by NHS patients and their physicians in the UK.

Paradigm shift in Parkinson's care 

Chaudhuri continued: “PDMonitor is supporting an emerging paradigm shift in Parkinson’s care by moving from traditional short-lived face to face consultations to be augmented by home monitoring which has many advantages, similar to monitoring in diabetes and cardiac disorders.

"Monitoring patients at home, continuously while they conduct everyday activities, allows treatment decisions to be made more frequently and physicians to respond faster to changing symptoms.”

He explained that a major advantage of PDMonitor is its ability to provide a self-monitoring platform for patients in addition to monitoring gait and risk of falls.

He added that gait and bone health have been a major feature in the recently described 'dashboard of vitals' of Parkinson's Disease.

“While you cannot reverse Parkinson’s, one can delay the deterioration of symptoms and possibly decrease the risk of falling. Mobility, falls and related fractures remain a major cause of morbidity and hospitalisation in Parkinson's Disease. Prudent use of PD Monitor data therefore means accurate assessment with snapshot of home activities so as to provide a dashboard based bespoke personalised care," he said. 

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