PARIS – European researchers said they are developing a wearable monitoring system that automatically regulates the delivery of medication to Parkinson's patients.
The EU-funded REMPARK (Personal Health Device for the Remote and Autonomous Management of Parkinson’s Disease) project aims to develop a Personal Health System, featuring closed loop detection, with response and treatment capabilities, for the improved management of Parkinson’s disease patients.
The REMPARK system is composed of two elements. The first element is a bracelet equipped with a sensor for measuring tremor in patients, and an inertial system worn at the waist on a belt made of biocompatible material. The second part, the size of a mobile phone, is equipped with sensors and can process and wirelessly transmit the data collected.
In this context, project leader, the Technical Research Center for Dependency, Care and Autonomous Living (CETpD) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya BarcelonaTech in Spain, said it is designing a wearable monitoring and actuation system that identifies the motor status of Parkinson’s patients in real time. The system also determines what phase a patient is in while walking or performing everyday activities. It provides a signal to initiate movement when a gait-freezing episode occurs.
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The REMPARK system is complemented by an actuation subsystem consisting of auditory, visual or haptic cueing devices, a pump for regulated subcutaneous drug delivery, and a functional electrical stimulation system. The final element is a mobile phone, which connects the monitoring and actuation systems, provides an interface for medical supervision, and links the system to the data server.
The next step will consist in including a central server where all the data from patients will be stored, processed and analyzed to assess how each patient is evolving. Researchers suggest it will support supervising medical teams in their decision process.
Led by CETpD, the research project gathers Teknon Medical Centre, Telefónica R&D, the European Parkinson’s Disease Association, research centers and companies based in Germany, Portugal, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium.
The REMPARK project, which will run until 2015, has an overall budget of €4.73 million ($5.2 million).------------------------
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