Wearables may be the key to the monitoring, research, and treatment of Parkinson's disease, at least that is the hope of a collaborative project announced by Intel and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. As part of the project, patients would wear wearables and Intel would provide the big data analytics to gain insight into the neurodegenerative brain disease in a multiphase research study.
"This effort is an important step in enabling researchers and physicians to measure progression of the disease and to speed progress toward breakthroughs in drug development," the partners said in a press release.
In a smaller scale pilot study earlier this year, select patients used Pebble smartwatches to record things like tremors, sleep patterns, and more. Now, with the larger scale study, Intel anticipates collecting as much as 1 GB per patient per day with a specially designed app that can gather more information; the app will be available later this year.
"Emerging technologies can not only create a new paradigm for measurement of Parkinson's, but as more data is made available to the medical community, it may also point to currently unidentified features of the disease that could lead to new areas of research," said Intel Data Group senior vice president and general manager Diane Bryant.
The collected data could be shared with qualified physicians and researchers and the initiative is similar to the more consumer-centric health initiatives that Apple and Google are launching with HealthKit and Fit.