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Digit Biomark. 2017 Sep;1(1):43-51. doi: 10.1159/000475801. Epub 2017 May 12.

Telehealth Management of Parkinson's Disease Using Wearable Sensors: An Exploratory Study.

Author information

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies, Cleveland, OH, USA.
School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.
Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.
Department of Neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.
Department of Neurology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA.



Parkinson's disease (PD) motor symptoms can fluctuate and may not be accurately reflected during a clinical evaluation. In addition, access to movement disorder specialists is limited for many with PD. The objective was to assess the impact of motion sensor-based telehealth diagnostics on PD clinical care and management.


Eighteen adults with PD were randomized to control or experimental groups. All participants were instructed to use a motion sensor-based monitoring system at home one day per week, for seven months. The system included a finger-worn motion sensor and tablet-based software interface that guided patients through tasks to quantify tremor, bradykinesia, and dyskinesia. Data were processed into motor symptom severity reports, which were reviewed by a movement disorders neurologist for experimental group participants. After three months and six months, control group participants visited the clinic for a routine appointment, while experimental group participants had a videoconference or phone call instead.


Home based assessments were completed with median compliance of 95.7%. For a subset of participants, the neurologist successfully used information in the reports such as quantified response to treatment or progression over time to make therapy adjustments. Changes in clinical characteristics from study start to end were not significantly different between groups.


Individuals with PD were able and willing to use remote monitoring technology. Patient management aided by telehealth diagnostics provided comparable outcomes to standard care. Telehealth technologies combined with wearable sensors have the potential to improve care for disparate PD populations or those unable to travel.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest Statement D. Heldman, J. Giuffrida, and B. Goldberg received compensation from Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies for employment. D. Harris, T. Felong, K. Andrzejewski, E. Dorsey, and M. Burack received support from Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies through sub-awards from NIH/NIMHD grant number R44MD004049. E. Dorsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Digital Biomarkers. D. Heldman is on the editorial board of Digital Biomarkers.

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