Study: Wearable data can help identify candidates for advanced Parkinson's therapies

By Heather Mack

Valley View, Ohio-based Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies (GLNT) which uses tablets and wearable sensors for Parkinson’s diagnosis and therapy, has published a new study looking at how wearable technology can lead to increased referral rates for therapies in Parkinson’s disease.

The small study, which was published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, found that monitoring patients remotely enabled clinicians to better make decisions on when to consider advanced therapy. Using GLNT’s KinesiaOne technology –  which uses wearable sensors linked to a web portal – researchers found that being aware of certain variables such as symptom severity and fluctuations in motor skills gave clinicians an edge that standard care did not offer. 

The researchers monitored 40 patients with Parkinson’s disease for a year. They were split into two randomized groups, with one using KinesiaOne and the other receiving standard care, which consisted of a neurologist visit every four months. In the intervention group, clinicians remotely viewed reports detailing motor skills and dyskinesia (impaired voluntary movement) throughout the day in order to aid disease management decisions. The researchers found clinicians were five times more likely to recommend a patient for advanced therapy such as deep brain stimulation or an implantable medication pump when given access to remote monitoring reports.

“An important reason we developed and validated our Kinesia technology was to give clinicians a window into what happens when individuals with Parkinson’s disease leave the clinic,” Dustin Heldman, Biomedical Research Manager at Great Lakes said in a statement. “The results of this study are advancing our technology beyond the initial building blocks of algorithm validation and usability. We are now seeing the technology deployed and validated in targeted applications to help guide clinical decision-making and improve patient care.”

Heldman told MobiHealthNews in an email that GLNT plans to run more studies with a larger sample size, to test the potential of the technology as a screening tool for advanced therapies.

"We aim to develop and implement algorithms that use information captured by Kinesia to screen patients remotely and automatically identify patients who may be candidates for advanced therapy," he wrote. "This type of screening might help identify candidates that would not otherwise consider advanced therapy and improve access to advanced therapy for patients who live far from expert centers. Remote monitoring could also benefit patients after they receive advanced therapy by determining if a patient is responding well to the therapy or is in need of a therapy adjustment."

Great Lakes NeuroTechnology spun off from Cleveland Medical Devices in 2011 and began working on their sensor technology.  A year later, they began a clinical study to test their Kinesia system on patients with Parkinson’s. In 2014, the company received a $1.5 million NIH grant to start the move toward direct-to-consumer marketability.Jordan Flight Luxe