IBM explores how IoT and analytics can help monitor Parkinson's symptoms

Big Blue partners with Pfizer to create new data in fight against Parkinson's

IBM is using the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics to monitor the symptoms of people with Parkinson's disease, in partnership with pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The system of sensors, mobile devices and machine learning technology will provide real-time information on symptoms that can then be analysed by clinicians and researchers.

Their findings could provide a better understanding of disease progression and medication response, eventually guiding the design of clinical trials and treatments, Big Blue said.

"We are testing ways to create a system that passively collects data with little to no burden on the patient, and to provide doctors and researchers with objective, real-time insights that we believe could fundamentally change the way patients are monitored and treated," said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research.

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"With the proliferation of digital health information, one area that remains elusive is the collection of real-time physiological data to support disease management."

Mikael Dolste, president of Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, added: "We have an opportunity to potentially redefine how we think about patient outcomes and 24/7 monitoring."

The nature of Parkinson's means medication must be constantly adjusted, making the in-depth data this research provides particularly useful.

According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, between seven million and 10 million people worldwide have the disease.

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