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Elizabeth Clausen, +1 414-276-2145, eclausen@movementdisorders.org


VANCOUVER – Smartphone sensor data provide previously inaccessible, valid insights into daily behavior and functioning in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a study released today at the 21st International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

A team of researchers from Basel, Switzerland investigated the potential for smartphone-based assessments and sensors to enable remote, passive monitoring of gait and mobility in early-stage PD patients. The clinical trial analyzed 44 PD patients in a home-based setting using smartphone-based assessments for 24 weeks. Subjects carried a smartphone in their pocket or waist pack throughout the day, measuring continuous movement and location. Data then were categorized into different types of human activities and compared to the study’s clinical data, including the MDS Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS). Results of the technology were strong, with over 25,000 hours of passive monitoring data collected. Overall, mobility patterns measured correlate with disease severity as measured by clinical gold standards. 

Alberto Espay, Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati, states, “This abstract is of interest, even if it is only preliminary evidence that smartphones represent an untapped source of additional mobility data in Parkinson’s disease patients. This is also important because of what is referred to as the ecologically valid setting in which the data are collected, outside of a clinic or movement laboratory.” Espay adds, “The main caveat with passive collection of data is that the algorithms will need to distinguish different types of movement (e.g., deliberate movement vs. peak-dose dyskinesia vs. diphasic dyskinesia) and different types of “rest” (e.g., sitting and reading vs. snoozing).”


About the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders: Meeting attendees gather to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options in Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. Over 3,900 physicians and medical professionals from more than 89 countries will be able to view over 1,500 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society: The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS), an international society of over 5,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about MDS, visit www.movementdisorders.org