Study Rationale: The development of drugs that can slow or halt the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be expensive and take a long time. Although there are many promising new therapeutics in the pipeline, investigators have an urgent need for tools that can make testing these compounds more efficient and guarantee that they provide benefits that are relevant to the lives of people with PD. The use of digital health technology (DHT) — including electronic sensors worn around the wrist or ankles or phone apps that track symptoms — can potentially facilitate more precise and faster assessment of the effects of new medications.
Hypothesis: This project will establish a framework and tools for ensuring that the data collected by DHT can be used with confidence in the development of much needed treatments for PD.
Study Design: Academic experts, members from the pharmaceutical industry, health regulators and people with PD will work together as part of the Critical Path for Parkinson’s (CPP) Consortium to analyze digital data from a study using DHT called Wearable Assessments in the Clinic and Home in PD (WATCH-PD). The CPP will evaluate digital data from this study to ensure that the tools measure what they intend to measure, measure the same thing each time that they are used, adequately capture the symptoms of PD and, most importantly, produces measurements that are relevant to the experiences of people with PD.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s disease: A digital measure for PD may be a critical component of developing new therapies that can treat PD symptoms and slow the progression of PD.
Next Steps for Development: As a next step, the PD research community (industry, patient advocate groups, academia and regulators) can further evaluate and test the adapted digital measures in people with PD.