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Apps and Devices library launched to help Parkinson’s patients

People with Parkinson’s may be able to manage their condition with help from apps and devices library launched by Parkinson’s UK and Our Mobile Health.

‘Tried and Tested’ aims to offer technological solutions for managing Parkinson’s symptoms, including speech problems, drooling and freezing – and could help up to 145,000 people in the UK.

So far six apps and devices have been approved for the library, with plans to grow it by reviewing existing apps and devices and encouraging new designs from developers.

All the tools featured in the library are designed to help people with Parkinson’s with everyday life. Parkinson’s can affect the voice and affect people’s ability to swallow – also the library features an app that records volume, pitch and speed of speech, with the results easily shareable with health professionals, and one called Swallow Prompt to help prevent drooling.

Each app and device first goes through an independent review process used by Our Mobile Health to identify trustworthy digital health tools, before going into ‘real-life testing’ by people living with Parkinson’s.

People can now also try recommended and review apps to help them get some rest, as difficulty sleeping is a common problem for many living with Parkinson’s.

Our Mobile Health sourced the apps from developers and reviewed them against their rigorous quality assurance process, which identifies the ‘best of the best’ apps by reviewing them against ten key attribute areas. An independent panel of expert reviewers looks at apps across a range of areas including patient safety, data security and indicators of effectiveness. Only apps which meet the standards required are put forward to the charity for real-life testing.

Julie Bretland, chief executive of Our Mobile Health, said: “It is fantastic that digital health is being embraced in this way, to help those living with and managing lifelong conditions to be able to identify and embrace digital health interventions which they can have confidence in using.

“The user testing and feedback from those living with Parkinson’s has been invaluable as it has helped to further improve the quality of apps and digital health solutions targeted at those living with Parkinson’s.”

‘Tried and Tested’ is being spearheaded at Parkinson’s UK by Emma Lawton who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 29.

Emma, project lead for apps and devices at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Parkinson’s symptoms can make everyday tasks like getting dressed or making a cup of tea feel impossible, and that’s where technology has a massive role to play.

“Parkinson’s UK’s helpline was increasingly being asked whether apps and devices, that people had seen or heard about, could help with their symptoms.

“We wanted to provide consistent advice on this area with real conviction, as Parkinson’s UK should have a strong voice in this rapidly growing area. That’s why we created the library, to help provide the right advice and guide people to apps and devices that are safe and effective to use.”

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