By Craig Rhodes
A new collaborative research programme is exploring the potential of wearable devices and smartphone technology as a new means to monitor three central nervous system conditions: depression, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
Remote Assessment of Diseases and Relapse – Central Nervous System (RADAR-CNS) is a major new programme supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) that aims to improve a patient’s quality of life and potentially change how these and other chronic disorders will be treated in the future.
So how does it work?
Work that Intel teams have undertaken in Parkinson’s disease shows that continuous remote assessment using smartphones and wearable devices helps to provide a complete picture of a patient’s condition at a level of detail which was previously unimaginable. What’s more, it could potentially allow treatment to begin before a patient’s health deteriorates, thus preventing the patient from relapsing or becoming worse before they seek treatment.
Depression, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy are all distinct disorders with different causes and symptoms, which can be severely detrimental to a patient’s quality of life and life expectancy. In all three instances, patients often experience periods where their symptoms are manageable, followed by periods of deterioration and acute illness. Patient surveys have repeatedly highlighted the need for better means of predicting relapses. The hope is that with more continuous and objective monitoring data from wearable devices and smart phones, patients and their doctors will know better when to use available treatments to prevent relapses before they occur, or at least better control symptoms.
This five-year project will build an infrastructure to identify clinically useful bio-signatures to assist in the early identification of relapse or deterioration. This will include devising clinical studies to follow patients to test the acceptability value of remote monitoring, in addition to conventional markers of disease outcomes to detect changes in disease state and the effects of medications.
What does it mean for us?
RADAR-CNS is funded by the IMI, with the Technology Platform being Led by King’s College London and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, a Public-Private Partnership established between the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the European Union, and includes 24 organisations from across Europe and the US, among them Intel.
RADAR is one of the largest remote monitoring of disease state studies across Europe, monitoring up to 1,000 patients. The programme brings together experts from diverse fields including clinical research, engineering, computer science, technology, data analytics and health services, and is at the forefront for clinical uses of consumer wearable devices, showcasing the capabilities in big data analytics, remote monitoring, IoT and wearables.
If you would like to discuss the study in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact me.