New Smartphone App Aims to Help Improve Parkinson’s Scoring

 

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Michael J. Fox Foundation
Image: michaeljfox.org

Along with his bachelor’s degree in psychobiology, Mitchell Blutt also received his medical degree and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, he has become involved in healthcare investment and currently serves as the chief executive officer of New York City-based Consonance Capital. Alongside his professional obligations, Mitchell Blutt actively serves on the boards of different organizations. He previously served as a board member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation, named after its eponymous founder, is an organization dedicated to expediting the process of finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, which is a degenerative disease that affects the neurological system. Since its founding in 2000, the organization has provided over $750 million to fund Parkinson’s Disease research.

A recent study funded by the foundation highlights a more modern approach in scoring Parkinson’s Disease: a smartphone application. Through a joint effort by researchers at the University of Rochester in New York, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and Aston University in the United Kingdom, a new smartphone application has been specially programmed to collect data from a combination of required tasks, such as vocal production and finger tapping. From this, an objective severity score can be calculated. The score ranges from zero to 100 with a higher score indicating a more severe condition.

The authors of the study intend the smartphone application to be an adjunct assessment tool to standard Parkinson’s Disease measures. Moreover, they hope that the frequent, objective, and real-time assessment data it provides will improve clinical care.

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