REMPARK project: Tests with patients with Parkinson’s at Centro Médico Teknon, Barcelona

REMPARK is a European project bringing together 11 partners from 8 different countries to develop a personal health device for the remote and autonomous management of Parkinson’s disease.

On a first level, the project will develop a portable monitoring device that can detect, in real-time, motor symptoms of the user, while evaluating On, Off and Dyskinesia states. On a second level, the intelligent treatment of data gathered by the monitoring system will allow the treating neurologist to have access to precise and reliable information based on which he or she may make better informed decisions about adequate treatments for the patient. The REMPARK system will be tested with 60 patients coming from four medical centres. An animated overview of the project along with some use cases can be found on Fraunhofer Portugal’s YouTube channel.

Fraunhofer AICOS has so far been responsible for the development of an Auditory Cueing System for gait guidance and the smartphone user interfaces, both of which were recently tested with patients with Parkinson’s at Centro Médico Teknon, UParkinson, in Barcelona. Twelve patients took part in these trials that helped Fraunhofer AICOS researchers validate some features and enhance others. Medical doctors and physical therapists from UParkinson worked together with Fraunhofer AICOS researchers for the trials.

The auditory cueing, acting in real-time, will be activated by the system as soon as it detects gait disturbances. This cueing is composed of repetitive sounds that will help the user regain their normal gait cadence. Patients in the trials used the system indoors and outdoors and provided their feedback on the usefulness and comfort of this particular system.

The smartphone, in its turn, acts as the main communication channel between the user and the system and offers users a wide range of services to assist them in their activities of daily life through applications such as: medication manager, medication reminders, agenda, medical questionnaires or easy visualization of symptoms detected by the system. In the trials, the users were asked to complete a set of tasks in three of the applications to evaluate usability and gather their opinion on the ease of use and usefulness of the applications.

REMPARK is carried under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) and financed by the European Commission (REMPARK ICT-287677).