New Wearable Tracker With Objective Measurements Improves Quality of Life and Clinical Outcomes for 43% of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

 

Using the Personal Kinetigraph (PKG) smart watch (Global Kinetics Corporation, Ltd; Portsmouth, NH), which is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared technology, researchers Parisa Farzanehfar, Holly Woodrow, Michelle Braybrook and others report in the journal npg Parkinson’s Disease (published online April 3, 2018) that they were able to measure motor function objectively in a cohort of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The PKG system is worn on the wrist of the patient’s more affected side and scores the presence of bradykinesia and dyskinesia every two minutes through a triaxial accelerometer and proprietary algorithms. Analysis of the data obtained is then used to provide a score of variability or fluctuations in bradykinesia and dyskinesia, as well the relative time that the patient’s scores were over a preset target. A capacitive sensor tracks removal of the system to detect removal of the watch, which is meant to be worn continuously for approximately 1 week.

Using reported and objectively measured data led to treatment adjustments in 58% of patients who completed the study (n = 77). The dropout rate for the study was 25% and included mostly patients with severe PD who became hospitalized or unable to travel for the study. In response to the data gathered, 43% of patients who completed the study had changes made to the dose of oral medications prescribed, and these patients also experienced statistically significant improvements in their quality of life as assessed by the PD Questionnaire (PDQ-39). Another 19% of patients were referred for infusional therapy or deep brain stimulation as a result of analyzing the data tracked.  

Dr. Frank Nicklason, Geriatrician, Royal Hobart Hospital, and an author on the study report, commented, “I find the PKG valuable in my clinical practice as my patients are not always able to define their response to their Parkinson’s medication. The PKG record helps me adjust therapy to get better control of symptoms and improved quality of life for my patients. It really helps me manage my (more remote) patients who I am not able to see as frequently.”

 

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