Smart watches

Thousands of Britons will receive life-changing smartwatches to monitor disease

PARKINSON patients will receive breakthrough smartwatches on the NHS to control the disease at home.

About 120,000 Britons suffer from this nerve condition, which causes uncontrollable tremors and brain damage.

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Doctors will be able to track patient symptoms remotely with the watches, reducing the number of appointmentsCredit: Alamy

Wrist monitors will allow doctors to monitor patients at home and intervene when symptoms worsen or they need to change medication.

The gadgets will also cut thousands of doctor’s appointments and free up time for the NHS.

NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said: ‘This little watch will dramatically improve patients’ quality of life and ensure they receive care in the comfort of their own home.

“This cutting-edge device is the latest in a long line of cutting-edge innovations that the NHS is bringing to the frontline.

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“Not only is it better for those people living with Parkinson’s, it’s also more efficient for the NHS, freeing up space and time in hospitals for our hard-working staff.”

The bracelet, called a kinetigraph, can be worn day and night to track people’s symptoms and movements, and ring when they need to take medication.

Doctors will get real-time data to show if tremors are under control and if patients are having trouble walking or sleeping.

About one in 500 people develop Parkinson’s disease, usually after the age of 50.

Doctors don’t fully understand what causes it, but nerve cells in the brain die, which means sufferers lose control of their muscles and may become depressed or confused.

Hundreds of patients have already received the wrist gadgets through a project with Plymouth University, which will now roll out more widely.

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Parkinson’s disease patient John Whipps was diagnosed in 2007 and was one of the first to test the watch.

He said: “It really gives you confidence because you know it gives accurate recordings and you don’t have to rely so much on your own perception.”