Parkinson’s treatment device

A European consortium is working on a project aimed at developing a system that will allow doctors to automatically regulate guidelines for individual treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

The work is being undertaken as part of the Home-based Empowered Living for Parkinson’s Disease (HELP) initiative, which is funded by the European Union’s (EU’s) Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Programme.

Joan Cabestany, director of the project to design a device for monitoring and improving the treatment of Parkinson’s disease at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), said: ‘The aim is to design a control system for a subcutaneous infusion pump that administers the exact drug dose required by patients according to their level of activity. We hope that this will prevent blockages and the adverse effects of medication overdoses. The system will determine the dose required on the basis of the patient’s degree of mobility.’

The portable infusion pump is based on a combination of accelerometers and gyroscopes and can be integrated into a patient’s everyday clothing. The consortium claims that this non-invasive device will provide immediate access to information on a patient’s mobility and the degree of activity of the user.

The project consortium is being led by Telefónica I+D, with support from the university and the University Hospital of Palermo, along with other corporate partners, including Telecom Italia, Saliwell, Maccabi Group Holdings and HSG-IMIT.