CLCH delivers more personalised care to Parkinson’s patients in Barnet

Published: 10th April 2024

To mark World Parkinson's Day (11 April) we are celebrating our staff and the specialist care they deliver to our communities.  

Patients living with Parkinson’s are now receiving more personalised care from CLCH with the help of a watch, that remotely assesses Parkinson’s symptoms, so clinicians can time medication more effectively.

There is a lot of variability in drug efficacy in Parkinson’s due to the progressive nature of the disease and differences in medication absorption.  People with the disease often struggle to identify what their symptoms are, and the connection between their symptoms and their drug timings or doses.

To understand the connection between symptoms and medication timings better, in Barnet, CLCH began piloting the use of a Personal KinetiGraph (PKG) wristwatch in 2019. The watch is worn for 6-10 days and it provides data on the effects that drugs have on some symptoms of Parkinson’s such as tremors, excessive movement, involuntary movement (dyskinesia), immobility, slow movement of limbs of the body (bradykinesia) and motor fluctuation. This device also vibrates to remind patients to take their medication, which can be confirmed by a swipe across the screen.

As a result of the findings, from 2019 to July 2023, of the 78 people using PKGs, 54% had their medication altered to better manage their condition symptoms, enabling them to continue their daily activities with more ease. Simon Robertson, a patient at the Parkinson’s Day Unit at Edgware Community Hospital, wore the watch so clinicians could assess the effectiveness of his medication.

He said: “Wearing this watch was helpful. It reminded me to take my tablets when it buzzed. It helps my nurse to understand my symptoms and effects of medication, which supports my treatment plan to manage my Parkinson’s symptoms more effectively.”

Anjali Bajracharya, Interim Clinical Service Manager and Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist, said: “This technology has allowed us to limit the symptoms Parkinson’s patients feel. Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, with no current cure. Being able to support our patients to live with the condition with as little impact as possible by simply tailoring the timing of their medication is encouraging. I look forward seeing the positive effects of such technology on more people living with Parkinson’s.”

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