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Pfizer and IBM using Internet of Things for Parkinson's Disease project

While life can be a glorious thing, there are many scourges that can make it more difficult.

Between things like cancer and heart disease, it can be impossible to get through the minefield of life unscathed. Unfortunately, there are many more health risks out there than just those two aforementioned examples.

One particularly heartbreaking condition is Parkinson's Disease. While many people have the affliction, Michael J. Fox is one person that comes to mind when discussing it. The disease causes him, and others, to lose body control, making day-to-day activities a tiring chore. Pfizer has announced that it is partnering with IBM to focus on improving Parkinson's Disease care by using the Internet of Things.

"Parkinson's disease in particular requires ongoing adjustment to medication depending on the progression of the disease and response of the patient. The collaboration seeks to create a holistic view of a patient's well-being by seeking to accurately measure a variety of health indicators, including motor function, dyskinesia, cognition, sleep and daily activities such as grooming, dressing and eating. Insights from these data could help clinicians understand the effect of a patient’s medication as the disease progresses, enabling them to help optimise the patient’s treatment regimen as needed. Data generated through the system could also arm researchers with the insights and real-world evidence needed to help accelerate potential new and better therapies", says Pfizer.

Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research explains, "with the proliferation of digital health information, one area that remains elusive is the collection of real-time physiological data to support disease management. We are testing ways to create a system that passively collects data with little to no burden on the patient, and to provide doctors and researchers with objective, real-time insights that we believe could fundamentally change the way patients are monitored and treated".

While a cure for the disease would be great - and hopefully discovered one day - making sure existing sufferers have optimal care is important too. This collaboration could forever change the care that Parkinson's Disease patients receive.

Living with Parkinson's is hard, but these people have friends, family, and lives to live - the diagnosis is not a death sentence. IBM and Pfizer are using the IoT to potentially provider a better quality of life for existing patients, and future ones too. That is awesome.

Are you excited to see the IoT being used to improve humanity? Tell me in the comments.