A university news release reports that researchers at the Universidad Politécnia de Madrid (UPM) are currently testing new wearable sensor networks and mobile phone applications in order to monitor and manage patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The release notes that specifically, UPM’s Life Supporting Technologies group has developed a decision support system built to accommodate healthcare experts, helping them to manage information generated from the wearable sensors, which are worn by the patients. The sensors are engineered to continuously collect and process the accelerometry signals, automatically detecting and quantifying the symptoms of the patient. This ultimately is intended to enable users to build a profile of the disease for each patient and achieve customized treatment.

The group’s work on the design and development of new mobile phone applications blended with wearable sensors networks to continuously, and non-invasively monitor patients with Parkinson’s disease has given way to the European research project PERFORM (A soPhisticatEd multi-paRametric system FOR the continuous effective assessment and Monitoring of motor status in Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases). The project is partially funded by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework Programme, whose consortium includes universities, hospitals, SMEs and big companies from Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Poland, Cyprus, and Greece.

The research ultimately targets the usage of low-cost wearable sensors that can continuously collect and process the accelerometry signals to automatically detect and quantify the patient’s symptoms. Once this has been accomplished, the information is then sent to a hospital to generate a daily report that will alert the doctor in the event of any outlier.

The release notes the group have not only worked on the design of the sensors and the algorithms used to monitor patients, but also have studied how to improve the user experience for these kinds of systems even among individuals who are unfamiliar with new technologies.

Photo Credit: PERFORM project

Source(s):  Science, Daily, Universidad Politécnia de Madrid