i-PROGNOSIS aims to develop early and unobtrusive Parkinson’s disease detection tests based on the interaction of users with their everyday technological devices
Parkinson’s disease (PD), one of the commonest neurodegenerative diseases, is a chronic and progressive disease that often begins with mild symptoms that advance gradually over time. Symptoms can be so subtle in the early stages that they go unnoticed, as there are no PD-related biomarkers and findings on routine magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans are unremarkable, leaving the disease undiagnosed for years.
Motivated by the latter, i-PROGNOSIS proposes a radical approach to capture the risk of transition from healthy status to Parkinson’s Disease that is based on unobtrusive collection of behavioural data acquired from the natural interaction of the users with their smart devices.
A two stage-PD detection process
In this stage, the focus is placed on the user’s interaction with his/her smartphone and smartwatch (if available). The objective is to capture data that may relate to early PD symptoms. Towards this direction, the user has to download the i-PROGNOSIS mobile application (will be developed during the project) to his/her smartphone and start using it for the everyday functionalities such as making/receiving phone calls, typing messages and taking photos.
As the user uses the smartphone, or even holds it and carries it with him/her, and wears the smartwatch, various data are acquired and analysed by the i-PROGNOSIS platform.
In the cases when i-PROGNOSIS detects a behaviour relating to PD, the user will be asked to visit a doctor and proceed with the second stage of detection, if he/she desires it, in order for i-PROGNOSIS to reach a solid conclusion.
In this stage, the focus is placed on the user’s interaction with his/her smartphone and smartwatch, as well as, a number of web-connected everyday utilities (Internet of Things). The objective is to capture additional data that may relate to PD early symptoms.
The everyday smart utilities that are engaged in this stage are: i) a plate scale, used when the user eats his/her main meals, ii) a smart belt, that the user can wear throughout the day or only at night, and iii) a smart TV remote control. These devices, that will be provided to the user, collect data regarding food consumption rate, bowel sounds and electrocardiogram, respectively, that correlate with diet deterioration, constipation and general health deterioration, that form common PD symptoms.
After the completion of Stage 2, i-PROGNOSIS will inform the user with a definite conclusion on whether or not he/she is at high risk of developing PD. In case the result is positive, the user will be prompted to visit a doctor, and upon his/her validation of PD risk, the user can proceed with the i-PROGNOSIS interventions, if desired so.
The role of your doctor
We want the doctor to have a key role in the detection process. That is why the doctor will have the final word in every stage of the detection – i-PROGNOSIS will just multiply the available data and their frequency so as to help him/her reach a solid prognosis.
i-PROGNOSIS will not replace, but assist your doctor.
 Internet of things refers to a network of physical objects that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity which enable them to collect and exchange data.