Remote patient monitoring tested for Parkinson's management

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies just snagged $2 million in federal grants to test whether remote patient monitoring can help patients with tremor-related conditions such as Parkinson's disease. The primary project will use $1.7 million to develop ETSense, a portable essential tremor monitor that classifies tremor severity and rates tremors activity continuously throughout the day, company officials say.

"Objectively capturing ET symptoms continuously during daily activities and using adaptive algorithms to classify both tremor types and severity will help clinicians better prescribe therapy to minimize the patient's symptom fluctuations," Dustin Heldman, the company's principal investigator and biomedical research manager, said in a press release.

The ETSense kit's primary motion sensor is worn on the finger as the patient makes a series of movements, such as tapping the fingers. The tests provide a quantitative measurement of two major Parkinson's symptoms: tremors and difficulty moving.

The system will give physicians objective data on patient symptoms outside of the clinic or inpatient environment, company officials told MedCity News in August, when the technology first was announced. Right now most physicians rate patient symptoms by subjectively observing them during an in-office visit, but have little data on the patient's progress in between visits.

"These symptoms can change a lot during the course of a day based on the therapies a patient is receiving," Joe Giuffrida, president of Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies, said, according to MedCity News.

Having more information also can help physicians titrate medications to control Parkinson's and other tremor-related symptoms, company officials say.

To learn more:
- read the MobileHealthWatch story
- check out this MedCity News article from August