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By Biocat

The Technical Research Center for Dependency Care and Autonomous Living (CETpD) at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia-BarcelonaTech (UPC) has developed a pioneering portable monitoring system that identifies the motor state of Parkinson’s patients in real time. This breakthrough allows doctors to determine and quantify situations that incapacitate patients in their daily life and then act less invasively and more effectively.

This new system, which can be classified in the field of medical technology, is part of the European Rempark project (Personal Health Device for the Remote and Autonomous Management of Parkinson’s Disease) led by the UPC, with participants including the Teknon Medical Center, Telefónica I+D, and the European Parkinson Disease Association (EPDA), plus other research centers and companies from Germany, Portugal, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium. The project has a total budget of €4.73 millions.

Rempark consists of two elements: a bracelet with a sensor to measure patient shaking and an inertial device, the size of a mobile phone, that is worn on the waist using a belt made of biocompatible material and equipped with a series of sensors that can process and wirelessly transmit measured and screened data. This system can detect symptomalogical parameters of the disease and determine the phase each patient is in (on/off status, blockage and other disorders associated with the disease). On/off phenomena are fluctuations in the patient’s state throughout the day and are unpredictable and varying in length. These disorders oscillate between asymptomatic periods (on phases when the patient is under the effects of the drug) and others in which difficulty walking, stiffness, and even full motor blockage reappear (off phases that are normally linked to low levels of medication).

The Rempark system is currently moving into the pilot testing stage and, for the first time in Europe, will work exclusively with ambulatory data on the disease, meaning that the device will be tested on one hundred patients in their homes (and not in a laboratory as has been done previously in other studies). The UPC and its partners are recruiting volunteers in Spain, Italy, Ireland and Israel to participate in these trials.

More information is available on the UPC website.

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