100 for Parkinson's

News article 25 Feb 2016

LSTM is supporting a unique global health project which is calling for 100,000 people to track their health using their smartphone to contribute to Parkinson’s research.

100 for Parkinson’s is a global science project, led by UK digital health startup uMotif, and supported by organisations such as The Cure Parkinson’s Trust and Parkinson’s UK. People with Parkinson’s, their friends, family and the general public can use the uMotif app on their smartphone or tablet to monitor their health for 100 days and donate their data for research. 

LSTM’s Professor Duolao Wang, Chair in Biostatistics, is co-principal investigator on the study and will be responsible for the team analysing and reporting on the data that is collected. He explained: “Ordinarily the patient and other participants may be passive in a study like this, with researchers interpreting and inputting their data, but in this case we put those monitoring their own health right at the centre of the research. With 100,000 participants we are talking about big data, which will not be without its challenges but I am excited to be part of a project that will be able to identify characteristics and patterns in clinically important data in order to help improve the quality of life for people with this devastating disease.” 

The call for volunteers has gone out and data will be recorded using smartphone technology in order to help understand the impact of Parkinson’s. Bruce Hellman, Chief Executive of uMotif said:

“We’re so used to communicating, shopping, even banking, on our mobile phones and yet we’re only just starting to uncover their potential for our health. 100 For Parkinson’s will find out how smartphone platforms can help people with Parkinson’s, and everyone else, to understand their own bodies. Patients with Parkinson’s often only visit a doctor twice a year, so knowing more about their health will help them to bridge the gap between health visits and better understand their symptoms.” 

One person in every 500 has Parkinson’s disease, with more than 127,000 people in the UK and around 10 million people globally suffering from the condition.  The app will enable people to track sleep quality, mood, exercise, diet and stress levels, areas that are commonly affected by the disease. 

Anyone can take part in the project and the donated data will contribute to academic research approved by a committee led by The Cure Parkinson’s Trust and Parkinson’s UK, helping to unlock new discoveries in Parkinson’s. While the focus is Parkinson’s, healthy people are needed to provide the control data for future research. 

Those interested in taking part should go to the 100 for Parkinson’s website, where they can find out how to download the app for free.