Smart watches

Plymouth University Hospitals launch smartwatches for Parkinson’s disease

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust is working with the University of Plymouth to develop the use of smartwatches to monitor Parkinson’s patients at home.

Using a device, known as a Parkinson’s kinetigraph (PKG), a patient’s movements can be closely monitored while they are at home. Doctors can then evaluate the collected data to look for signs that interventions may be needed, such as changing medications or offering physical therapy.

Additionally, the watch buzzes to remind patients to take their medications to ensure they stay on top of their daily medication needs.

The device will provide doctors with an in-depth look at patients’ health and ensure they get the care they need, when they need it. They can visualize data over the course of a week to help spot potential issues such as excessive movement, immobility, or trouble sleeping.

For users, the device gives peace of mind that symptoms are being accurately monitored, without relying on memory to track any issues that may arise.

Medical innovation

The device has already been distributed to hundreds of patients as part of the NHS’s long-term plan and commitment to using cutting-edge technology to benefit patients and healthcare professionals.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Making health care more accessible and personalized is central to our reform plans. For people with degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s, it’s important to be able to quickly and easily communicate any changes in symptoms to your doctor.

“This is a fantastic example of how technology is driving cutting-edge innovation in healthcare, enabling remote monitoring of patients that can dramatically improve their quality of life and independence, while freeing up valuable time for clinicians.

Increase in funding

The Plymouth University Hospitals project is one of 40 projects supported by the NHS Transformation Digital Health Partnership Award. This provides funding to accelerate the adoption of digital health technologies to support patients with long-term illnesses.

As part of the award, Plymouth University Hospitals received £500,000, which will be used to integrate the paper questionnaire, all of a patient’s data and the ability to contact their clinician, into the electronic record over the course of the next year.

Dr Tim Ferris, Director of Transformation at NHS England, said: “Thanks to funding from the NHS, the work that was started by the Plymouth team is now taken to a new level of digital integration so that clinicians people across the country who care for people with Parkinson’s disease can monitor their patients’ symptoms from their office without having to fill out diaries and attend multiple outpatient appointments. »