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Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Jan 18;6:357. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00357. eCollection 2012.

Using a smart phone as a standalone platform for detection and monitoring of pathological tremors.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University Montreal, QC, Canada ; Centre de Recherche de l'Institut, Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal Montréal, QC, Canada.



Smart phones are becoming ubiquitous and their computing capabilities are ever increasing. Consequently, more attention is geared toward their potential use in research and medical settings. For instance, their built-in hardware can provide quantitative data for different movements. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to evaluate the capabilities of a standalone smart phone platform to characterize tremor.


Algorithms for tremor recording and online analysis can be implemented within a smart phone. The smart phone provides reliable time- and frequency-domain tremor characteristics. The smart phone can also provide medically relevant tremor assessments.


Smart phones have the potential to provide researchers and clinicians with quantitative short- and long-term tremor assessments that are currently not easily available.


A smart phone application for tremor quantification and online analysis was developed. Then, smart phone results were compared to those obtained simultaneously with a laboratory accelerometer. Finally, results from the smart phone were compared to clinical tremor assessments.


Parkinson; essential tremor; long-term; movement disorder; telemedicine; telephone; tremor

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