Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease known for the progressive degeneration of motor skills, leading to increased difficulties in mobility, speech, and respiratory abilities.
Although the last decades saw an extraordinary development in telecommunication technologies applied to the health sector, there are very few developments when it comes to neurodegenerative diseases, especially when it concerns ALS.
In the scope of the HomeSenseALS project, Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, together with Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (IMM), is designing a solution that aims to monitor people living with ALS, with the purpose of improving the knowledge on the disease and, ultimately, their quality of life.
Through the use of wearable sensors, like a smartphone or a respiratory band, it will be possible to detect sudden or gradual changes in these patients’ behavior, such as mobility, functional activities, or speech. In the scope of this project, FhP-AICOS’ researchers will lead the development of the application that will process the collected data, as well as the development of the algorithms to learn human patterns and create alerts when there are significant changes.
In addition, the developed application will be able to perform voice tests and receive voice reports, giving even more insight into the progression of the disease.
The information collected over time is of great importance both to caregivers and physicians as it will allow adjusting medication and appointments when needed and will provide data to create better models, based on Machine Learning methods, for the disease’s progression and patient stratification, critical for future clinical trials.