Until now, the lack of precise, continuous data on the clinical status of individuals affect by Parkinson’s disease throughout the day was one of the main difficulties face by neurologists in charge of adapting treatment. Now, this obstacle has been overcome with a new device called STAT-ON. It is a small sensor held in place with a specially design belt that constantly monitors patients’ motor status in everyday settings.

Fluctuations experience by patients

The treatment of advance Parkinson’s focuses on controlling these fluctuations; but until now, neurologists have found it difficult to correctly analyse them. It is common practice to ask patients to keep a diary; so writing down their clinical status each hour. This requires a significant time investment by the patient and caregivers; so the resulting data can be unreliable, as it is often difficult for patients to self-assess. In addition, motor problems often make it hard for patients to write.

STAT-ON continuously monitors the on/off fluctuations experience by patients; so under levodopa treatment over several years. It also monitors other motor symptoms experience by the patient (bradykinesia, dyskinesia and freezing) in order to allow for much more precise treatment; also significantly improving patients’ quality of life. These on/off fluctuations present significant challenges to patients’ clinical stability through dosage adjustments.

In addition, STAT-ON can monitor gait parameters, falls; also other characteristics of movement that allow for improve management of the disease. The measurements and data provide by this device will help doctors make inform decisions and better manage the disease. It’s important to note that this device doesn’t provide a diagnosis; so although the information it collects is extremely helpful to health professionals; so allowing them to precisely determine a patient’s status.

Adapt to each patient

Since each individual moves differently; STAT-ON is design to adapt to each patient. To do so, it uses the information it initially receives from the patient and “learns” from their movement. Then, through artificial intelligence, it personalizes the algorithms it uses to register their motor symptoms. Once this step is complete, STAT-ON works autonomously and is very easy to use. While carry by the patient, it does not require any sort of activation or connection.

Since the device is non-invasive, patients can use it in their everyday lives; so carrying the sensor on a comfortable, discreet belt while it registers their motor status. Then, it generates a report on the patient’s motor status throughout the day,” says Dr. Joan Cabestany, telecommunications engineer; so UPC researcher and expert in artificial and electronic intelligence apply to dependency and active aging.

The incidence of Parkinson’s disease has grown in recent years; so largely as a result of longer life expectancies in the general population. Over 7 million individuals worldwide have diagnose with this neurodegenerative disease; 1.5 million live in Europe and 150,000 in Spain. According to data from the Spanish Society of Neurology, each year 10,000 new cases of Parkinson’s are diagnosed, and it is the second most frequent neurodegenerative pathology, after Alzheimer’s.