“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” Steve Jobs
Parkinson mPower iPhone App: Do you think a smartphone app that measures several symptoms in Parkinson’s would be helpful (personally)? Do you want to be part of an international study to monitor symptoms/progression of Parkinson’s? Are you willing to give feedback/suggestions along the way as this app continues to evolve? If you answered YES-YES-YES, please keep reading.
The answer for me is YES to all 3 questions. Why? Here’s my reasoning: We stand united by having Parkinson’s, yet each one of us is uniquely different in our presentation, our symptoms, our response to therapy, and our pace of progression. As a scientist and educator, I want to be a part of a study that helps me gain knowledge about my Parkinson’s today. However, more importantly, as someone with Parkinson’s, I want to help scientists/clinicians really advance our understanding of Parkinson’s in the future. From reading about the Parkinson mPower app/research project, I want to participate in the study.
I am a huge fan of Michael J. Fox, and this comment is so true (and reinforces my belief in enrolling in such a study): “I have no choice about whether or not I have Parkinson’s. I have nothing but choices about how I react to it. In those choices, there’s freedom to do a lot of things in areas that I wouldn’t have otherwise found myself in.”
Parkinson mPower (Mobile Parkinson Observatory for Worldwide, Evidenced-based Research): “A new iPhone mobile app which allows patients with Parkinson’s to track their symptoms in real time and share this information with researchers was featured by Apple executives today during the company’s semi-annual product launch event.” (http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/app-allows-parkinsons-patients-to-share-symptom-data-with-researchers/article/402821/) Parkinson mPower is available at the Apple App Store, and yes, it’s free.
Goals of the Study- “The mPower is a unique iPhone application that uses a mix of surveys and tasks that activate phone sensors to collect and track health and symptoms of PD progression – like dexterity, balance or gait. Our goals are to learn about the variations of PD, to improve the way we describe these variations and to learn how mobile devices and sensors can help us to measure PD and its progression to ultimately improve the quality of life for people with PD. This study is unique in that it allows participants to step up as equal partners in the research process.” (http://parkinsonmpower.org/)
What does the Parkinson mPower app actually measure? How long does it take to complete these tasks? You do the following: a tapping test, a voice analysis, a walking assessment, a memory quiz, thoughts, and feedback. Takes ~5 min, simple/quick.
CNN described the Parkinson mPower this way: “How your iPhone could diagnose Parkinson’s” (http://www.cnn.com/videos/cnnmoney/2015/03/09/money-apple-healthkit-diagnostics.cnn)
Parkinson mPower was featured on TEDBlog: “mPowering the Apple Research Kit: How Max Little put a Parkinson’s app on the iPhone” (http://blog.ted.com/how-max-little-put-a-parkinsons-app-on-the-iphone/)
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein