App that Allows for Assessing of Parkinson's Disease Severity Via a Smartphone

April 2018 – The Hopkins PD App, a result of a collaboration between researchers at the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Rochester Medical Center, and the United Kingdom’s Aston University, can evaluate Parkinson’s Disease severity via their smartphone. The app uses the device’s microphone, accelerometer, and touchscreen to assess how users perform tasks such as finger manipulation including their accuracy, speed, and reaction time. This data can then be shared with a doctor, and can be performed anywhere-anytime. Dr. Ray Dorsey, a University of Rochester neurologist and co-lead of the project said, "If you think about it, it sounds crazy, but until these types of studies, we had very limited data on how these people function on Saturdays and Sundays because patients don't come to the clinic on Saturdays or Sundays. We also had very limited data about how people with Parkinson's do at two o'clock in the morning or 11 o'clock at night because unless they're hospitalized, they're generally not being seen in clinics at those times." The app is not meant to be a replacement for existing Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis methods, but rather a way to complement traditional methods with real-world assessments that can be initiated by the patient. 
An android version of HopkinsPD is available at their website located here:
An iOS version of the same, named mPower, is available through the App Store. 
[Source: Ben Coxworth, Health & Well Being; Zhan et al., 2018, JAMA Network]


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