A motor function assessment for Parkinson’s disease can take over 30 minutes to conduct, but Tencent, in partnership with London-based Medopad is working on an artificial intelligence system that reduce assessment time to less than three minutes.
Medopad has developed a smartphone system that will allow doctors to remotely monitor patients and set new drug doses, if needed.
The AI system monitors patients through smartphone apps, which monitor how a patient opens and closes their hands. The smartphone’s camera will capture a patient’s movement in order to determine the severity of their symptoms.
The software then uses frequency and amplitude to determine a score for the patient, which determines how severe their Parkinson’s disease has become.
If there is need to change a patient’s treatment regime, the AI system will raise an alert, notifying doctors of the possible need to tweak dosages. The smartphone app will will also notify patients if there is need to visit a physician for check ups.
What is different about this system is that patients will not need to use any wearable devices, something that Wei Fan, head of the Tencent Medical AI lab, prides himself upon.
“We use the AI to measure the deterioration of Parkinson’s disease patients without the patient wearing any sensors or devices,” he said.
There is increasing research interest into how technology can be used in treating Parkinson’s. It is reported that, presently, there is no mechanism that enables physicians to continuously and objectively track the effectiveness of prescribed medication, or the patient’s adherence to the prescription, and this is an opportunity that medtech firms are ready to take on that challenge.
It is estimated that up to 10 million people globally are living with Parkinson’s, a chronic and disabling neurodegenerative disorder where prevalence increases with age. With an increasingly ageing worldwide population, research into Parkinson’s disease has become more imperative.
Artificial intelligence stands out among the top healthcare trends because it can be leveraged to improve speed and accuracy in diagnosis and treatment. The widespread adoption of AI will propel the digital transformation of healthcare and ultimately benefit patients as well as care providers.
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