Mobile systems for monitoring Parkinson's disease

University dissertation from Örebro : Örebro universitet

Abstract: This thesis presents the development and evaluation of IT-based methods and systems for supporting assessment of symptoms and enabling remote monitoring of Parkinson?s disease (PD) patients. PD is a common neurological disorder associated with impaired body movements. Its clinical management regarding treatment outcomes and follow-up of patients is complex. In order to reveal the full extent of a patient?s condition, there is a need for repeated and time-stamped assessments related to both patient?s perception towards common symptoms and motor function. In this thesis, data from a mobile device test battery, collected during a three year clinical study, was used for the development and evaluation of methods. The data was gathered from a series of tests, consisting of selfassessments and motor tests (tapping and spiral drawing). These tests were carried out repeatedly in a telemedicine setting during week-long test periods. One objective was to develop a computer method that would process tracedspiral drawings and generate a score representing PD-related drawing impairments. The data processing part consisted of using the discrete wavelet transform and principal component analysis. When this computer method was evaluated against human clinical ratings, the results showed that it could perform quantitative assessments of drawing impairment in spirals comparatively well. As a part of this objective, a review of systems and methods for detecting the handwriting and drawing impairment using touch screens was performed. The review showed that measures concerning forces, accelerations, and radial displacements were the most important ones in detecting fine motor movement anomalies. Another objective of this thesis work was to design and evaluate an information system for delivering assessment support information to the treating clinical staff for monitoring PD symptoms in their patients. The system consisted of a patient node for data collection based on the mobile device test battery, a service node for data storage and processing, and a web application for data presentation. A system module was designed for compiling the test battery time series into summary scores on a test period level. The web application allowed adequate graphic feedback of the summary scores to the treating clinical staff. The evaluation results for this integrated system indicate that it can be used as a tool for frequent PD symptom assessments in home environments.