In what could be revolutionary for those battling Parkinson's, the NHS will be handing out smart watches that will enable Brits suffering from the disease to monitor their condition at home.
A life-saving smart watch
The smart watches, which are called kinetigraphs, will be able to be worn day and night to track people's symptoms—in particular, the severity of their trembling. The monitoring will ultimately indicate to patients when to take their medication.
Doctor's will also have direct access to this data which will allow them to be up-to-date with each specific patient and their needs. NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard explained:
This small watch will dramatically improve patients’ quality of life and ensure they get care from the comfort of their own homes.
The cutting edge device is the latest in a long line of world-leading innovations that the NHS is bringing to the frontline. 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.
John Whipps, who has been battling Parkinson's disease since being diagnosed back in 2007, is one of the first people in the UK to have tested the watch. He said:
It really gives you confidence as you know it gives accurate recordings and you don’t need to rely so much on your own perception.
What is Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson's is a disease which attacks a person's nervous system and gradually affects their capacity to move. Symptoms can start almost unnoticeably, such as a slight tremor in one hand. Overtime, the trembling can become uncontrollable and can lead to severe brain damage. Other symptoms include, stiffness and slowing of movement.
In the UK alone, there are approximately 137,000 people living with the disease. Each year, there are about 17,300 new diagnoses of Parkinson's and those most affected are people over the age of 45.