Intel has announced a partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to develop Big Data tools that will hopefully help diagnose this degenerative disorder earlier, and find a cure.
Wearable sensors under the form of smartwatches could be the biggest progress of the last 200 years in terms of assessment tools available to diagnose and study Parkinson’s disease. Notoriously hard to diagnose, Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system which affects one in a hundred people over the age of 60.
These smartwatches developed by Intel in partnership with MJFF, are able to monitor symptoms of Parkinson’s like slowness of movement, tremors, and sleep quality. The data collected is then stored in a purpose-built cloud based on Intel hardware, and processed using Cloudera’s distribution of Hadoop framework. The most important and challenging part is then to analyse this data to detect patterns, and evaluate it against the cellular profiles of Parkinson’s disease pathology documented over the last 20 years.
Intel and MJFF have already completed trials with 25 patients in Israel and the US, and collected 1GB of data per patient per day, as reported by TechWeek.
The hope is that this new data will enable the discovery of currently unidentified features of the disease, and advance the research. The results of this research will later be shared with the community of physicians and scientist studying Parkinson’s.
Intel and MJFF are planning to launch a new mobile application later this year that will enable patients to report medication intake and how they are feeling at a particular time.
We are organising a Big Data in Pharma Terrapinn Briefing, where you will hear from Sanofi, Novadiscovery, Ariana Pharma and Kinapse on Big Data tools and strategies you can implement to boost innovation and enhance efficiency in the whole R&D process.