14th Feb 18 Austin Clark
Doctor in your pocket: using smartphones to map Parkinson’s
Smartphones will soon be able to perform the functions of a ‘pocket doctor’ and map Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative diseases. With their ability to record movement, activity, location and voice, extensive research is being conducted into their potential as a medical diagnostic tool.
Dr Max Little, of Aston’s Nonlinearity and Complexity Research Group, is utilising the latest advances in mobile technology to obtain information about how symptoms of Parkinson’s change in people on an hourly basis.
Dr Little said: “This new kind of remote data analysis will help patients to monitor their conditions on a minute-by-minute basis from the comfort of their own homes. Of course, it is still important that they receive regular advice and treatment from medical professionals, who may also benefit from this new technology. Physicians may be able to use data collected by their patients’ smartphones to prescribe medications to help control the progress of neurodegenerative conditions.
“This information may also help examine people thought susceptible to developing Parkinson’s disease. The condition is hard to diagnose, with specialists having to take a detailed history of peoples’ symptoms and analysing them for physical signs of the disease. Using smartphone data may help to make this process much easier.”