NHSE supports new smart watches for patients with Parkinson’s

NHS England is supporting new ‘life-changing’ smart watches for people living with Parkinson’s disease, which could be rolled out to 120,000 people.

The Parkinson’s KinetiGraph (PKG), developed by the NHS in Plymouth in collaboration with the University of Plymouth and University Hospitals Plymouth Trust, enables healthcare teams to assess a patient’s condition and movements remotely – replacing a previous paper-based process. 

The device is worn for six days to collect information on a patient’s movements and medication adherence, to relay the data to healthcare professionals, who then search for signs their patient’s medicines need changing, or that alternative interventions such as physiotherapy could be required. 

The project received funding through the Digital Health Partnership Award, and is one of 40 projects supported by NHS England.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, commented on the wearable tech: “Parkinson’s is an incurable illness that has a significant impact on peoples’ lives and this small watch will dramatically improve their quality of life – providing a thorough review of their health and ensuring they get the care they need from the comfort of their own homes. Not only is it better for these people living with Parkinson’s, but it is also more efficient for the NHS.”  

Dr Tim Ferris, director of transformation, NHS England, added: “Thanks to NHS funding the work that was started by the team at Plymouth is now being taken to a new level of digital integration so that clinicians throughout the country caring for people with Parkinson’s can monitor their patient’s symptoms from their desktop without requiring them  to fill in diaries and attend multiple outpatient’s appointments.

“This ground-breaking project is just one of 40 that the NHS are backing through the Digital Health Partnership Award which supports collaboration with patient groups in order to develop innovative new technology-based approaches to caring for patients and is a testament to the commitment of staff across the country to deliver our Long Term Plan commitment and roll out cutting-edge technology as quickly as possible.”