MHEALTH

Using technology to fight Parkinson’s: first dedicated apps and devices library launched

Thousands of people with Parkinson’s will be able to better manage their symptoms thanks to a revolutionary apps and devices library launched by Parkinson’s UK and Our Mobile Health.

Thousands of people with Parkinson’s will be able to better manage their symptoms thanks to a revolutionary apps and devices library launched by Parkinson’s UK and Our Mobile Health.

In a first of its kind, ‘Tried and Tested’ offers technological solutions for managing Parkinson’s symptoms, including drooling, speech problems and anxiety.

So far six apps and devices have been approved for the library, and more will follow.

Each app and device first goes through a rigorous independent review process used by Our Mobile Health to identify trustworthy digital health tools, before going into ‘real-life testing’ by people living with Parkinson’s, a condition that affects 145,000 people in the UK.

Our Mobile Health sourced the apps from developers and reviewed them against their rigorous quality assurance process, which identifies the ‘best of the best’ apps by reviewing them against ten key attribute areas. An independent panel of expert reviewers looks at apps across a range of areas including patient safety, data security and indicators of effectiveness. Only apps which meet the high standards required are put forward to the charity for real-life testing.

Julie Bretland, Chief Executive of Our Mobile Health, said: “It is fantastic that digital health is being embraced in this way, to help those living with and managing lifelong conditions to be able to identify and embrace digital health interventions which they can have confidence in using.

“We are proud to have been able to work so closely with Parkinson’s UK on this new initiative. Using our rigorous independent health app review process we have been able to help identify potentially suitable health apps, thoroughly review them and identify those which can then be taken forward.

All the tools featured in the library are designed to help people with Parkinson’s with everyday life. The first six apps in the library are: Swallow Prompt (to manage drooling), Voice Analyst (help with speech), Kindeo (capture stories and memories), Pzizz (to aid sleep), Cove (emotional and mental health) and Beat Panic (anxiety).

Emma Lawton, Project Lead for Apps and Devices at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Parkinson’s symptoms can make everyday tasks like getting dressed or making a cup of tea feel impossible, and that’s where technology has a massive role to play.

“Parkinson’s UK’s helpline was increasingly being asked whether apps and devices, that people had seen or heard about, could help with their symptoms.

“We wanted to provide consistent advice on this area with real conviction, as Parkinson’s UK should have a strong voice in this rapidly growing area. That’s why we created the library, to help provide the right advice and guide people to apps and devices that are safe and effective to use.”

The charity and Our Mobile Health now plan to grow the library, both by reviewing existing apps and devices but also by encouraging new designs from developers. Anyone with an app that they think would be suitable for the library should contact Our Mobile Health (www.ourmobilehealth.com) for more information.

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