Smartphones are being used to monitor degenerative diseases, and researchers at Aston University are working to make it possible to use smartphones to collect information on how the symptoms of degenerative diseases change on an hourly basis.
The team from Aston's Nonlinearity and Complexity Research Group (AUNCRG) plans to focus on conditions such as Parkinson's disease and Friedrich's Ataxia, a rarer genetic illness. For example, one study is designed to gather data on the movement and speech patterns of Parkinson's sufferers using smartphones. The devices are set up to track the individual's movements, how frequently they speak to another person, and how their voice changes over time.
Smartphones could potentially enable patients to self-manage their conditions, according to AUNCRG's Max Little. "Physicians may be able to use data collected by their patients' smartphones to prescribe medications to help control the progress of neurodegenerative conditions," Little says.
The AUNCRG team also believes smartphones could be used to help diagnose degenerative conditions. "[Parkinson's] is hard to diagnose, with specialists having to take a detailed history of peoples' symptoms and analyzing them for physical signs of the disease," Little notes. "Using smartphone data may help to make this process much easier."
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