Apple continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible with smartwatches and introduces new features to improve health tracking and medical features. A new patent filed by the company mentions how a wearable device might help in treating Parkinson’s disease. It can be done by continuously tracking a user’s movements using new sensors.
The patent (20190365286) filed by Apple Watch maker talks about how improved monitoring can help patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease in better treatment. It also helps doctors by offering them more accurate data so that they can adjust medication levels precisely.
The company states in the documents that there are anywhere between 600,000 to 1 million cases of Parkinson’s disease in the US and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Symptoms of the deadly disease include tremors and dyskinesia. It further explains how dyskinesia is an uncontrollable movement that can resemble bobbing, fidgeting, swaying or twitching. Apple mentioned in the patent filing that dyskinesia and tremors occur when treating Parkinson’s disease as dopamine replacement therapy becomes less effective and starts to induce side effects.
A patient’s treatment largely depends on how precisely doctors and clinicians titrate and schedule the medications to minimize Parkinson’s disease symptoms. However, achieving precision can be hard as each patient’s combination of food intake, medications, sleep, and stress levels are different. A smartwatch-like device can effectively and precisely monitor a patient’s daily pattern and report it to the doctor, making it easier for them to adjust medication levels accordingly.
Apple plans to monitor movements using motion sensors, analyze the data on the device using Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), and reporting it to clinicians for a more effective treatment. Most patients self-report symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease, and sometimes it can be wrong, which can lead to wrong medication levels. Apple suggests that “passive tracking of dyskinesia and tremor symptoms using a wearable computer.” We think that the Cupertino-based firm could implement this feature in future versions of Apple Watch.
Recently we reported patents that were filed by the company to offer improved sports performance measurement using newer sensors that can track muscle movement. With the Apple Watch Series 4, the company introduced the Fall Detection feature which saved many lives till now.
Via: Apple Insider