Smartwatches could have the potential to catch the onset of Parkinson’s disease, seven years in advance before the manifestations take shape, a study says.

The finding came to light following research conducted by the UK Dementia Research Institute team at Cardiff University, which made use of artificial intelligence in analyzing data from 103,712 individuals who wear smartwatches.

In addition, it also made use of available information provided by the UK Biobank, which contains an in-depth database of health data of over a million individuals.

The study, which took place from 2013 until 2016, specifically looks at the participants’ movement speed over a single week, which acts as an indicator of whether the subject could develop the said brain disease.

Parkinson’s disease, a form of dementia, is a medical condition where a patient’s brain gets damaged over time across many years and comes with the following symptoms:

  • sluggish movement
  • tremors or an involuntary shaking
  • hardened muscles

In most cases, patients with Parkinson’s disease suffer the condition with irreversible damage to their brains.

Dr. Cynthia Sandor, leader of the study, suggests that 30 percent of the UK population now wears smartwatches, which could offer an affordable and dependable method of finding out the early-stage development of Parkinson’s disease.

A member of the research study, Dr. Kathryn Peall told BBC News that there is accuracy in distinguishing Parkinson’s disease with the method, one that separates it from other factors that influence body movement, such as frailty or old age.

Peall, however, says that whether a person should be informed if they have been diagnosed with an early beginning of Parkinson’s disease years ahead before the symptoms appear “will always remain an individual and personal choice”.

But while it is hoped that the thesis would become useful in screening for the disease, researchers claim, via Natural Medicine, that more studies are required to prove the accuracy of the claim.

This article, Wearable tech could detect Parkinson’s up to 7 years before symptoms appear, was originally published at NoypiGeeks | Philippines Technology News, Reviews and How to’s.