A smart watch, an insole to measure gait and balance, an electronic pillbox and a set of applications for smartphone and/or tablet, will enable a medical team to monitor and assess the emotional and cognitive state of people with Parkinson's. With the support of a powerful server and online data collection system, it will be possible to provide each patient the specific therapeutic changes necessary to ensure the best treatment and develop a rehabilitation focused home-care system that will improve quality of life and reduce the risk of complications including falls.
This is the winning idea behind the project mHealth platform for Parkinson's Disease management (PD_Manager project). Lasting three years, the project has received 4.3 million euros funding from the European Union within the European framework program for research and innovation Horizon 2020.
The study will be coordinated by the Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana while the technical aspects will be supervised by the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of Ioannina. The clinical partners are the IRCCS San Camillo Hospital of Venice, IRCCS Santa Lucia in Rome, the Neurology Clinic of the University Ioannina (Greece) and the rehabilitation Centre University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
After the definition of user needs under the coordination of the psychology unit of the University of Surrey, the project will involve in the pilot phase, 30 patients and, at the end of 2016, it will become one of the largest multi-centre studies involving a total of 230 patients across four European centres. During the stages of advancement, updates will be provided with live demonstrations of the achievements, to all the countries involved utilising the power of the web. Furthermore, the technologies that will result will be made available to all. The project partners are please to have the support of the European Parkinson Disease Association (EPDA) who will help in the trans-national dissemination of results.
Scientific project head Prof. Angelo Antonini, director of the Parkinson's disease and movement disorders Unit at the San Camillo Hospital in Venice says: "Today we have the knowledge necessary to enable people with Parkinson's to live well for decades, but the ability to translate them into practice is hampered by factors of time, cost and logistics". "The Internet and our innovative philosophy of shaping the systems on the need of people with Parkinson's and their caregivers will be, along with the integrated work of the consortium, the success factors of the project."
Today in Europe there are over a million people have Parkinson's disease and this number will double by 2030 with the general ageing of the population. Thanks to advances in medical and surgical therapies, people with Parkinson's may enjoy long life, and remain included with dignity and satisfaction in their work and their social environment. Thanks to advanced technology the "PD_manager" will enable interaction of a multidisciplinary team of specialised neurologists, physiatrists, nurses, physical therapists, dieticians and speech therapists, to provide to each individual the optimal management of the disease also in the advanced stages.
Project website: www.parkinson-manager.eu