Every day, the world becomes increasingly technological. With this comes advances in many realms, from healthcare to education. Recently, says Parkinson’s News, medical technology company Manus Neurodynamica received £750,000 (approx. $950,000) for their NeuroMotor Pen, a diagnostic tool that will assist with early diagnosis of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
According to the website, the NeuroMotor pen:
is a unique, non-invasive, patented medical device that supports an earlier and more accurate diagnosis and offers monitoring of neuromotor impairments.
Basically, the NeuroMotor pen uses sensors to track even the smallest hand or limb movements. Patients use the tool to write or draw on a tablet. During this time, any abnormalities, tremors, or other “off” movements are recorded. Normally, doctors can track disease onset or progression through biomarkers like blood pressure, body temperature, or antibody levels. In fact, biomarkers are key ways to measure someone’s health – even if asymptomatic. So, in this case, abnormal movements become “digital biomarkers” for researchers to study.
In early stages of Parkinson’s disease, someone might experience slight (perhaps undetectable) tremors on one side of their body. Being able to record and analyze these movements will play a crucial role in early detection.
By understanding this information, researchers are also able to track motor skills throughout the patient experience. So, changes in motor skills or abilities also allows clinicians to understand how a patient’s condition changes.
Additionally, the NeuroMotor pen can reaffirm concrete diagnoses. Some neurological or neuromotor conditions share common symptoms, such as tremors or muscle stiffness. By using this tool, clinicians can separate patients with Parkinson’s disease from those with other conditions like essential tremor.
Currently, hospitals in the U.K and the Netherlands have access to the NeuroMotor pen. However, it may later be developed for wider use: both geographically and health-wise.