Parkinson’s watch helps patients manage care at home

Patients with Parkinson’s disease are being given life-changing smart watches that allow doctors to remotely assess their condition in a pioneering project to revolutionise NHS care.

The gadget, which contains sensors known as a Parkinson’s Kinetigraph (PKG), is worn around the clock for six days to monitor patients’ movements at home. Information collected is relayed to doctors who can look for signs that their medicines need changing, improving quality of life, or that make other interventions such as physiotherapy that can stop the condition getting worse.

Hundreds of patients have already been issued with the watch, which also buzzes to remind patients to take medication, in the scheme which could be rolled out across the country to the around 120,000 people who have Parkinson’s.

Doctors can check how their patients are over the course of a week and spot any possible issues, such as excessive movement, immobility and even sleep disturbance.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS England chief executive, said: “Parkinson’s is an incurable illness that has a significant impact on peoples’ lives and this small watch will dramatically improve their quality of life – providing a thorough review of their health and ensuring they get the care they need from the comfort of their own homes.

“Not only is it better for these people living with Parkinson’s, but it is also more efficient for the NHS – freeing up space and time in hospitals for our hard-working staff. The cutting edge device is the latest in a long line of world-leading innovations that the NHS is bringing to the frontline as part of our NHS Long Term Plan commitment to use the most advanced technology possible for our patients.”

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