New Smartphone App Aims to Help Improve Parkinson’s Scoring

 

Trial Finder pic

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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Michael J. Fox Foundation Trial Finder Connects Patients with Trials

 

Trial Finder pic

Trial Finder
Image: michaeljfox.org

Dr. Mitchell Blutt, CEO and founder of Consonance Capital in New York, stands out a s the first physician to successfully transition into the health care investment sector. A civic-minded leader, Dr. Mitchell Blutt previously served on the board of directors for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to funding research and new therapies for Parkinson’s disease.

Patient trials are one of the most important elements of the drug development process. However, a successful trial relies on a reliable source of trial participants, and studies suggest that around half of all trials experience delays because of a lack of volunteers.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation hopes to speed up the Parkinson’s disease drug development and treatment process by helping willing participants connect with clinical trials. To this end, the foundation manages an online program called Fox Trial Finder, a service that both connects individuals with Parkinson’s disease with clinical trials and recruits individuals without the condition to serve in control groups in the studies.

More than just a list of trials, Fox Trial Finder helps match registrants to the trials that need their specific traits through a secure and anonymous messaging system. Patients and their families, as well as interested control participants, can access the trial finder service by visiting https://foxtrialfinder.michaeljfox.org.

Hangout Bridge Fosters Friendships between Arab and Jewish Youth

 

Peres Center for Peacepic

Peres Center for Peace
Image: peres-center.org

Mitchell Blutt serves as the CEO of Consonance Capital, a New York-based healthcare investment firm that controls both a healthcare hedge fund and private equity fund. Beyond his obligations to the company, Mitchell Blutt holds a position on the international board of governors for the Peres Center for Peace. The Peres Center fosters positive relations between people of different cultures through programs such as the Hangout Bridge.

Hangout Bridge focuses on breaking down barriers between Arab and Jewish youth by facilitating communication and building bridges between the two cultures. Targeting relevant communities across the country, the program provides a safe environment for youth from a variety of backgrounds to form lasting friendships. Furthermore, the program builds peace between cultures by integrating online and offline interactions.

The program places youth in groups of eight participants, split equally between Arab and Jewish. Participants collaborate on a joint project though online communications using Google Hangouts and in-person meetings. Projects highlight the potential of shared living in Israel and showcase themes of commonalities, diversity, and intercultural bonding.

The Commonwealth Fund’s Breakthrough Health Care Opportunities Program

Mitchell Blutt

Mitchell Blutt

The founder and CEO of healthcare investment firm Consonance Capital , Mitchell Blutt also serves as a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. A pioneer in health care investing, Mitchell Blutt is a member of the board of directors of a number of nonprofits, among them, The Commonwealth Fund.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation with a century-old history. It aims to improve health care by supporting research on social and health issues, and funding grants that will lead to better health care practice and policy, for marginalized populations in particular. One of its programs, Breakthrough Health Care Opportunities, recognizes that the United States health care system is falling short by many measures and seeks to improve this by providing funding for creative solutions.

Currently, Breakthrough is funding two initiatives that have the potential to disrupt the present health care status quo and bring about positive change. The first of these, The IT-Enabled Consumer, aims to empower patients to manage their care through access and use of their health care data. The second initiative, Incentives 2.0, taps into the power of behavioral economics to rethink provider incentives for future care.