The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), a US-based non-profit organisation, has partnered with Verily Life Sciences, a unit of Alphabet, to study the use of digital health tools for gaining better insights into Parkinson’s disease.
Verily and MJFF will test wearable devices, specifically the Verily Study Watch, on more than 800 participants in the MJFF-led Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI).
The multi-sensor, investigational Verily Watch continuously collects data on movement, along with different physiologic and environmental measures.
Being carried out at 33 clinical centres, PPMI is a longitudinal study designed to collect clinic-based data and multiple biosamples, which will be combined with the data captured by the Study Watch.
During the two-year study, the partners intend to identify signals and biomarkers of Parkinson’s.
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The companies will provide the raw and curated data to qualified researchers to help advance independent studies and drive knowledge for the development of therapeutics to treat the disease.
Verily Clinical Neurology head William Marks said: “These results are urgently needed across many neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease.
“By capturing a wealth of data through studies such as PPMI and by deploying technology such as our Study Watch, we aim to build frameworks of multi-dimensional data of value to researchers, clinicians, and data scientists.”
Verily and MJFF also partnered under the Accelerating Medicines Partnership Parkinson’s disease (AMP PD) programme aimed at determining the molecular fingerprint of the disease.
In addition, the companies have worked together to advance Verily’s Liftware range developed for people living with hand tremors or limited mobility.