ExpertsConnect EP. 21: Wearable Technology to Manage Parkinson’s Disease
ExpertsConnect EP. 21: Wearable Technology to Manage Parkinson’s Disease

ExpertsConnect EP. 21: Wearable Technology to Manage Parkinson’s Disease


It's estimated that more than 10 million people globally are living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Notably, ageing is a primary risk factor for PD even though approximately 4% of PD patients are diagnosed before age 50. Research has shown that as PD progresses, its patients suffer a number of abnormalities with mobility e.g., slow movement, gait and balance issues, along with tremors.  Accordingly, wearable technologies provide an opportunity to monitor and support better management of Parkinson’s Disease. In addition, wearables can assist health professions to offer more patient-centred care, and overall, improve the patients' quality of life. 

On this episode of ExpertsConnect, Chief Technology Officer at Sense for Care,  Daniel Rodríguez-Martín, Ph.D., explains the notion of Parkinson’s Disease and its symptoms.  He further describes the PARKINSON’S DISEASE HOLTER, a non-invasive wearable device, designed by Sense for Care for monitoring Parkinson’s Disease. He also talks about the Holter's main features and functions and later proceeds to showcase the results of the clinical trials. Finally, he discusses the benefits of the Holter from the perspectives of both stakeholders involved (neurologists and PD patients).


 What's Parkinson’s Disease? [2:45] | Daniel explains that it is a neurological disorder affecting millions of people on a global scale.

What are the signs and symptoms of this disease? [3:21] | Daniel explains the various mobility abnormalities experienced by PD patients.

What are the challenges and opportunities to monitor PD? [4:39] | Daniel talks about the benefits of PD monitoring for the patient as well as the neurologist.

What does the Holter do? [8:02] | Daniel discusses the functions of the device and talks about the technologies that power the device.

Why do people need the Holter? [11:46] | Daniel describes the benefits of the Holter. He demonstrates the need for remote monitoring especially now in this Covid-era. 

How do you wear the Holter? [14:00] | Daniel highlights that the device is easily worn around the waist and requires little or no input from the patients.  He also references the battery life and talks about the charging process, again emphasizing it requires no input from the patient.

Results of the Holter's Clinical Pilots [16:48] | Daniel shares that approximately nine pilots were conducted and two of the nine were completed. He dives deeper into the results as well as the positive perceptions of both the patients and neurologists. 

Roadmap to Commercialise the Holter [18:56] | Daniel describes the roadmap to commercialization and shares Sense4Care's vision for the deployment of the Holter.

Notable Quotes from Daniel Rodríguez-Martín (Ph.D.)

"When you take levodopa after five, eight years of taking levodopa, you have dyskinesia, which is a kind of incorrect movement. So there are a lot of symptoms that you have the freezing of gait, […]. So it's a very complex disease. [4:17]

“So we are very happy about this because it's very well accepted by patients, […]. It provides a lot of information and also, they know that they are going to increase the quality of life. So they are very happy and we are glad to see the results of usability.” [21:05]

“[…] thanks to our technology, and now you know the scenario, that we are living with the COVID, we have the possibility to monitor the motor symptoms remotely. That means that the patient does not need to go to a doctor's office, you can send a sensor programme, and then you can make a normal life. And then once the monitoring period has finished, you can send back the sensor. And that's all I mean, it's not a necessity to go to the doctor's office. Then the neurologists can call and confirm the vision and ask them how they are, how they feel, and make the same evaluation as in the doctor's office.  You have this possibility and after all, we are providing much more information about what is happening in real life.” [11:56]




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Published By
Kadian Davis-Owusu (PhD)
Kadian has a background in Computer Science and pursued her PhD and post-doctoral studies in the fields of Design for Social Interaction and Design for Health. She has taught a number of interaction design courses at the university level including the University of the West Indies, the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) in Jamaica, and the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. Kadian also serves as the Founder and Lead UX Designer for TeachSomebody and is the host of the ExpertsConnect video podcast. In this function, Kadian serves to bridge the learning gap by delivering high-quality content tailored to meet your learning needs. Moreover, through expert collaboration, top-quality experts are equipped with a unique channel to create public awareness and establish thought leadership in their related domains.... Show more