Can we monitor Parkinson’s disease with a smartwatch? Health and science

Where does this news come from?

For smartwatch wearers, the body holds a few secrets. Anyone who wears a smartwatch knows how many steps they take, how many calories they burn, and how they sleep. Smart watches even measure heart disorders. These are all data that can help a therapist treat a disease.

Could a smartwatch like this detect a disease like Parkinson’s at an early stage? According to a new study published by Het Nieuwsblad, yes.

Research on smart watches and Parkinson’s disease

A team of American researchers investigated To what extent can smartwatches and smartphones be used to detect motor differences between adults with Parkinson’s disease and adults without Parkinson’s disease? (2).

  • Smartphones can movements To detect. associated with Parkinson’s disease Uncontrollable movements arms and legs.
  • Scientists conducted a An observational study Outside.
  • A group of 82 people with early-onset Parkinson’s disease and 50 people without Parkinson’s disease were given smartwatches and smartphones for a period of 12 Months.
  • Participants wore smart watches continuously Record movements And fed weekly assignments on smart phones.
  • Those appointments were like Goal to Recording of language and brain functions.
  • Discover the system differences in:
    • operating frequency
    • arm swing size.
  • Discover the system No differences in:
  • The differences were noticeable smaller in females of men.
  • Participants with early Parkinson’s disease tapped their finger on a smartphone more slowly in the test, while the recorded tremors were higher.
  • to me Language and brain tests People with early Parkinson’s disease scored lower than the control group.

According to the researchers, this study shows that A A combination of smart watches and smartphones useful can be for To monitor the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

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(1) Will the smart watch be the health tool of the future? Het Nieuwsblad, July 4, 2023.

How do you explain this news?

Parkinson’s disease 1 to 2 in every 1,000 peopleand about 1% of the population is over 60 years old (3). This interesting study shows that modern electronic devices can be useful in treating Parkinson’s disease to followbut not to detect disease.

  • This is remarkable by tests on a smartphone Speech disorders were previously detected as an abnormal signalWhile the researchers themselves did not notice anything unusual.
  • In general, the Results on smartphones are more sensitive to measuring differences Of smart watches, which mainly recorded movements such as tremors.
  • the biggest problem From this US study, however, it was in lack of data: gone because of the wrong actions sometimes Up to 50% of lost data.
  • In addition, some researchers had several Conflict of interest With pharmaceutical companies and electronics companies.
  • Search further There is a need to efficiently use the combination of smartwatch and smartphone to monitor Parkinson’s disease.


The combined use of smartwatches and smartphones can be useful for monitoring Parkinson’s disease, but not for detecting the disease. This is what a limited US study showed. However, more research is needed to obtain a clearer picture of the capabilities of these electronic means.

  • (2) Adams JL, Kangarloo T, Tracey B, et al. Use of a smartwatch and smartphone to assess early Parkinson’s disease in the WATCH-PD study. NPJ Parkinson Dis. 2023 Apr 17; 9 (1): 64.
  • (3) Tysnes OB, Storstein A. The epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease. J Neuro Transm (Vienna). 2017 Aug; 124 (8): 901–905.
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Megan Vasquez

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