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 apps and devices library launched by Parkinson’s UK and Our Mobile Health.  

So far six apps and devices have been approved for the library, and more will follow to help 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 ten key attribute areas.  An independent panel of expert reviewers looked at apps across a range of areas including patient safety, data security and indicators of effectiveness. 

 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.”

All the tools featured in the library are designed to help people with Parkinson’s with everyday life. Parkinson’s can affect the voice – leaving some people barely audible – so the library features an app that records volume, pitch and speed of speech, with the results easily shareable with health professionals. The library also features an app called Swallow Prompt to help prevent drooling, something many people with Parkinson’s can face due to difficulties with swallowing.

Emma, 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.”