Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Apple Watch can help track Parkinson’s disease symptoms, research shows

Apple watchApple watches have become increasingly popular as the amount of features they have continues to increase with new models and updates. Recent health research has lead to the possibility of an even greater feature. 

The new feature would monitor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. "Researchers at Apple, working with specialists who treat Parkinson’s, designed a system that uses the Apple Watch to detect the motor symptoms that are a hallmark of the neurological disease." 

The researchers monitored resting tremors and other involuntary movements to "identify the characteristic 'on' and 'off' patterns of medication's effects." If the research is successful and implemented, the feature could be used as a "round-the-clock" monitoring system. As of now, Parkinson's specialists typically rely on clinical visits and self-reporting to monitor the disease and the effects of the medications that patients are taking. 

This would not be the first time that a device could provide this type of monitoring, but given the popularity and comfortability surrounding the Apple Watch, there would be many advantages to this feature. 

Michael Okun, executive director at the Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, “Having the ability to take a commonly available device that’s already out there like an Apple Watch … and be able to do this type of monitoring is really nice because you’ll be able to give the clinicians who are caring for these people in their home a much clearer idea of what’s going on throughout the cycle of the day.”

See Mario Aguilar, Apple Watch can help track Parkinson’s disease symptoms, research shows, February 3, 2021. 

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  


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