Healthcare Technology in Movement Disorders
Are we ready for digital tools, biometric monitoring and health applications in Movement Disorders beyond Parkinson’s disease?
Spyros Papapetropoulos MD, PhD: Chorea, along with Huntington's disease’s diverse other symptoms, dramatically undermines a patient’s ability to perform the activities of daily living that the rest of us take for granted. Currently, however, the routine assessment of an HD patient, at best, offers only a subjective snapshot of the patient’s well-being and functional ability, which hinders clinical assessments and complicates drug-development.
Collaborative efforts between academic institutions, biopharma and tech companies have started expanding in rare movement disorders. The ultimate research goal of such collaborations is to generate more insightful data and improve on known clinical research issues such as fragmented collection of clinical data, subjectivity, bias, intra- and inter-rater variability, and placebo effect that have limited our ability to interpret clinical datasets from large trials.
While HD might seem to be a niche indication digital tools, biometric monitoring devices and platforms could find numerous other applications as well as helping to speed up the development of much-needed medications for several movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
Innovative approaches are poised to set the foundation for the development of such tools and solutions as a key component of rare disease management in clinical trials and everyday care. Examples that leverage technological approaches include:
- the wide use of Q-motor, a well-qualified tapping-based motor function monitoring tool deployed in natural history studies and recent HD clinical trials
- Teva/Intel’s efforts to develop a wearable-tech platform based on a sensor-equipped smartwatch, smartphone
- a unique data analytics engine that continually monitors and analyzes Huntington's disease (HD) hallmark motor symptoms
The future is here for next generation, innovative approaches in Movement Disorders. I would like to invite my colleagues to share their “digital experiences” beyond Parkinson’s disease.