Michael J. Fox Foundation Teams up with Intel to Improve Parkinson’s Monitoring, Treatment

August 14, 2014

The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Intel are collaborating on a multiphase study of the effectiveness of symptom-monitoring wearable technologies in tracking the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

By collecting data on the measurable features of Parkinson's — such as slowness of movement, tremor and sleep quality — researchers can better understand the clinical progression of the disease and track its relationship to molecular changes, the groups say.

Wearable devices will gather and transmit objective, empirical data in real time, allowing Intel researchers to analyze hundreds of readings per second from thousands of patients. The data will be compared with clinical observations and patient diaries to gauge the devices' accuracy and develop algorithms to measure symptoms and disease progression, the groups add.

Intel has developed a cloud-based analytics platform that could deliver predictive models for use in detecting changes in Parkinson’s symptoms measuring the efficacy of drugs and prognosis.

Intel and MJFF also plan to launch a mobile application that lets patients report their medication intake and how they are feeling. The app will be part of the study’s next phase, designed to gauge the effects of medication on motor symptoms through changes detected by the wearables, the groups say. — Kellen Owings

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