Creation of mobile health program offers hope to the 16.1% of US population expected to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease by 2030

Mobile health applications have been increasingly popular since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic helping patients stay up-to-date on their health remotely, while also ensuring that healthcare organizations are not overstretched. A number of applications have gained popularity over this period in various parts of the healthcare field, such as the use of video applications to virtually see a physician, or cell phone applications that track vaccination status, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Alexandra Murdoch, Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Recently mobile health applications have shown great promise in the field of cognitive function and mental health. Biogen, Apple, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have teamed up to create a mobile health program that will help detect and track various health issues such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, major depressive order, and more.”

According to GlobalData’s Neuromodulation Devices model database approximately 14.7% of the US population has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as of 2021, and that number is projected to grow to 16.1% by 2030. In addition, approximately 7% of the US population has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder in 2021, which is projected to decrease slightly to 6.8% by 2030.

The mobile health program would use Apple Watches and other wearable technology paired with an iPhone to track data and search for connections between cell phone use, physical activity, and cognitive function. The program is still in the research phase and is not available to the public yet; the companies are aiming to recruit 3000 participants to test the program out prior to releasing it, with half of the participants at high risk of cognitive impairment. The goal is to determine if and how differently people experiencing cognitive impairment use their devices.

Murdoch adds: “While the program is not officially available yet to most, it will be incredibly helpful when it is launched. The ability to detect these conditions early will help to diagnose and treat them more effectively. Further, the program could be used in research on a large scale to ultimately help contribute to prevention measures.”

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