Apple may soon help your iPhone track Parkinson’s

A work in progress

Apple is looking toward real-time monitoring for those with Parkinson’s disease using the Apple Watch and iPhone.

Sources speaking with the Fast Company have said Apple is working on an internal project to monitor the symptoms of the disease through either an Apple Watch or iPhone, using HealthKit.

The data found through the monitoring process in HealthKit would be used to build a portfolio of research and data about the patient.

Similar tech has been done before in the Parkinson mPower app created by Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester, but this new leak suggests Apple is working on the tech itself.

Healthy tech

Parkinson's suffers typically only visit their doctor once every six months, so this would allow for tracking between visits. 

Medication dosages may need to change between those rare visits, and this tech could then be used to help to judge how much it needs to change.

Neurologist Diana Blum told the Fast Company, "You could use mobile technology to monitor tremors and slowness—and maybe even stiffness and balance, but that's more complicated."

Some people who suffer from Parkinson's aren't "tremor predominant" though, so this tech won't be able to be used to treat everybody.

This feature is rumored developed through Apple's ResearchKit program, the company's own open source framework that allows both researchers and developers to come together on projects.

Whether it will actually launch for those who have Parkinson's is currently unclear and we'll have to wait for official word from Apple to find out more.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James is Phones, Wearables and Tablets writer for TechRadar and covers all the big announcements from the best manufacturers making gadgets for your palms, wrists and face. Based in London, James is often testing out the latest and greatest phones, smartwatches, VR headsets and - when he can be motivated to go outside - fitness bands. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest from the mobile world.