Parkinson’s disease could be diagnosed using smartphones within only a few years, according to an Oxford University researcher.The Parkinson’s Voice Initiative, funded by the Wellcome Trust and Michael J Fox Foundation, aims to use technology like smartphones and telephones to diagnose diseases and track symptoms.
Early this summer it will launch a new trial, project leader Max Little told Sky News.
Some 1,500 people will download software on to their smartphone that will track users’ body movement and other data over six months.
Mr Little said: “We have a hypothesis formed from earlier research that you can detect whether someone has Parkinson’s disease on the basis of their body movements, recorded using a smartphone.”
The last study conducted by the initiative analysed 17,000 voices collected over six months to detect the tremors that may indicate the disease.
Mr Little, who was speaking at the WIRED Health conference, said he and his team were still analysing the data.
He said: “The ultimate vision for Pakinson’s is you have smartphone software that you download, it would track your movement for a week, and then it would give you a probability that you might develop Parkinson’s.
“If we get sufficient data – it’s all down to participants – this is only a few years away.”