The Apple Watch is a device that has gained worldwide relevance for its features dedicated to the health and well-being of users. Along with a whole host of sensors to monitor heart activity, Apple wants this device to help people in many other scenarios. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light to an Apple Watch app to monitor Parkinson’s disease.
This tool was developed by the Rune Labs company and will take advantage of the advanced technologies that the small smartwatch incorporates.
Apple Watch will help patients with Parkinson’s disease
According to information shared by Reuters, pre-existing Apple Watch sensors can already detect falls, tremors and other movement disorders consistent with symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. However, Rune Labs has gone further with its app, collecting individual data about patients’ symptom experience so it can be shared with clinicians to determine the best treatment.
Brian Pepin, CEO of Rune Labs, said data collected by Apple Watch through its Parkinson’s disease monitoring app will be combined with data from other sources, such as brain implants. He added that the app uses Rune Labs’ StrivePD software to send clinicians continuous streams of data to give movement patterns more context.
This provides more data than doctors would get if they watched a patient come in for a brief visit to the clinic, because the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease change over time.
The makers have been testing Apple Watch Parkinson’s disease monitoring since Apple introduced its ResearchKit framework in 2015.
Originally, this allowed the Apple Watch to track users’ steps by asking them to walk 20 steps in each direction. Three years later, Apple updated ResearchKit with the Movement Disorder API, which can detect two common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: tremors and dyskinesia, a side effect of Parkinson’s disease drugs that causes movement jerky and oscillating.
The Parkinson’s monitoring app is Apple’s second monitoring software to receive FDA approval after the agency granted 510(k) type approval for a feature called “AFib History” to use. in watchOS 9 after its performance last week at WWDC.
This feature tells users diagnosed with atrial fibrillation how often their heartbeat shows signs of atrial fibrillation, which, if left untreated, can lead to stroke and other cardiovascular complications.