Apple Researching How iPhone, Apple Watch Can Monitor Parkinson’s Disease

Apple is reportedly developing real-time monitoring systems for users with Parkinson’s disease using the Apple Watch and iPhone.


Sources speaking with Fast Company have said that the Cupertino tech giant is working on an internal project to monitor the symptoms of the disease through either an Apple Watch or iPhone, using its proprietary HealthKit.

The data found through the monitoring process in HealthKit could potentially be used to build a portfolio of research and data about the patient in question.

This is not the first time this sort of technology has been seen before, such as with the Parkinson mPower app created by Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester, but this new report suggests Apple is working on the technology itself.

Parkinson’s sufferers typically only visit their doctor once every six months, so this would allow for tracking between visits. Medication dosages may need to change between those rare visits, and this tech could then be used to help to judge how much it needs to change.

“You could use mobile technology to monitor tremors and slowness—and maybe even stiffness and balance, but that’s more complicated,” said Neurologist Diana Blum.

Some people who suffer from Parkinson’s aren’t “tremor predominant” though, so this technology won’t be able to be used to treat everybody.

This feature is rumored developed through Apple’s ResearchKit program, the company’s own open source framework that allows both researchers and developers to collaborate on projects.