Pilot program will provide motion tracking wearables to UK Parkinson's disease patients

The initial rollout will have 150 patients monitored using the Parkinson's KinetiGraph device.
By Dave Muoio
02:41 pm

Wrist-worn Parkinson’s disease monitors developed by Melbourne, Australia-based Global Kinetics Corporations will soon be deployed to UK patients thanks to a new project headed by the University of Plymouth and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHPNT).

To start, 150 patients in Plymouth City, West Devon and East Cornwall will receive the Parkinson’s KinetiGraph (PKG) wearable as a pilot.

The smartwatch-esque device will be worn by patients over a six-day period, during which the device is able to continuously track involuntary movement and offer the wearer programmed medication reminders. By reviewing the recorded movements, a care team can review and adjust a patient’s therapy as needed, and remotely offer calls or clinic appointment scheduling if necessary. In addition, the program will also consist of an educational component that will teach patients how to use the system and better manage their condition.

"The PKG is an exciting example of how technology has the potential to transform care in conditions like Parkinson’s,” Julie Dodd, director of digital transformation at Parkinson’s UK, one of the organizations supporting the program, said in a statement. ”People tell us that one of the most frustrating things about the condition is how unpredictable it is, no two days are the same, which makes it incredibly hard to plan.”

So far the Developing Home-based Parkinson’s Care project has received more than £90,000 in funding and grant support, according to a press release. Along with UHPNT and Parkinson’s UK, other organizations participating in the effort include The Health Foundation, Cure Parkinson’s Trust, Flourish Workplace, UCB Pharma, Sheffield Hallam University, Fre-est, Radboud University and the South West Academic Health Science Network.


A recent investigation by the project team found that nearly half of Parkinson’s patients have their specialist consultations delayed by more than half a year, and that three-fifths hadn’t seen a community Parkinson’s disease nurse specialist within the past year, according to the release. This project would provide an opportunity for patients to be more closely monitored as they manage their condition, a benefit for the patient as well as for providers.

"The UK prevalence of Parkinson's disease will increase by a fifth by 2025, so the challenges associated with providing a timely and patient-centered service will also be much higher,” Dr. Camille Carroll, associate professor at the University of Plymouth’s Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine, consultant neurologist at UHPNT, and the project’s lead, said in a statement. "The existing service puts a lot of pressure on nurses, and attending clinics is arduous for both patient and carer as it presents logistical and physical challenges that add to burden and distress. We want to help people with Parkinson's to live the best lives they can for as long as they can, and this project aims to empower patients to take control of their own condition.


Global Kinetics Corporation, maker of the PKG device, received a $7.75 million investment from the Australian Federal Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund roughly a year ago, as well as grant funding from a number of different advocacy organizations organizations. At the time, the company said it was planning to use these funds to commercialize the PKG wearable, as well as fund trials of the monitoring device across multiple international sites.


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