Intel played a leading role in wearables study which monitored symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Actor Michael J. Fox, of Back to the Future and Family Ties fame, started the foundation after he was diagnosed with the degenerative neurological disorder back in the year 2000.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disorder. It affects one’s ability to control motor function and impacts balance, coordination, loss of sensory ability, speaking, and a decline in intellectual function. The causes are still not known, and there are no treatments that halt or reverse the symptoms, but it is thought to be a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
Intel came into the picture with the Michael J. Fox Foundation because the company’s former CEO, Andy Grove is a senior advisor to the foundation and was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Intel provided watches that had the ability to gather more than 300 data points each second. More than a gigabyte per patient, per day was transmitted during the study.
The data has been anonymized and Intel is still processing the information. More than just being able to report what happened, Intel plans to develop algorithms that will better measure movement and sleep patterns of patients. The next phase of the study will be releasing an application that will enable patients to record input and report on medications.
As a whole, this will provide additional, detailed, insight to other researchers that are looking for that silver bullet to combat Parkinson’s. Intel’s work in this area is the latest in a number of initiatives from big-league tech companies like Google and Samsung, each of whom have embarked on major projects aimed to bring significant technological advances into the health and well-being segment.