New apps and devices library targets Parkinson’s

A dedicated apps and devices library to help those living with Parkinson’s is now publicly available.

Charity organisation Parkinson’s UK teamed up with Our Mobile Health in December 2017 to start the project.

Less than a year later, the “tried and tested” library has now been launched.

So far six apps and devices have been approved for the library, which offers technological solutions for managing Parkinson’s symptoms, including speech problems, drooling and freezing.

Our Mobile Health is responsible for sourcing and independently reviewing the potential apps and devices to help identify digital tools that can be trusted and used by those living with Parkinson’s.

An independent panel of expert reviewers looks at apps across a range of areas including patient safety, data security and indicators of effectiveness.

All the tools featured in the library are designed to help people with Parkinson’s with everyday life, from walking and exercising to communicating and sleeping.

The project was led at Parkinson’s UK by Emma Lawton,who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 29 and has always had an interest in how technology could be used to live her life to the full.

Lawton, who is project lead for apps and devices at the charity, said: “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.”

Parkinson’s UK and Our Mobile Health now plan to grow the library, both by reviewing existing apps and devices but also by encouraging new designs from developers.

Julie Bretland, chief executive of Our Mobile Health, told Digital Health News that as well helping those living with Parkinson’s, the library also helps raise the quality of apps on the market, with the review process serving as a “useful” tool for developers.

She said: “It [the library] is beneficial on both sides as developers also get to engage in structural feedback from users, and users can have confidence that the app they are using has gone through a rigorous review process.”

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