You can find out more about NPF's National Medical Director, Dr. Michael S. Okun, by also visiting the NPF Center of Excellence, University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration. Dr. Okun is also the author of the Amazon #1 Parkinson's Best Seller 10 Secrets to a Happier Life.
This month, the National Parkinson Foundation launched its second major smartphone app, Parkinson’s Central. In 2011, the NPF developed and released the first ever Parkinson’s app for docs, the Parkinson’s Toolkit. The instant success and popularity of these smartphone-based apps has proven that Parkinson’s disease has shifted into the technological generation, where patients and families expect information to be instantly available, literally in the palm of their hand. In this month’s What’s Hot column, I will discuss these two Parkinson’s disease apps, and also address the challenges of reaching everyone suffering from this disease, on a worldwide scale.
In October 2011, the NPF announced the much anticipated first major smartphone app in the Parkinson’s disease field. The app’s vision was to aid doctors at the bedside to diagnose and treat Parkinson’s disease. One of the problems that this initial app addressed was that most primary care and other doctors manage only a handful of patients with Parkinson’s disease. The app included modules on the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, planning for the future, and billing. Peter Schmidt, PhD, NPF’s CIO and vice president of programs, pointed out that there are three key ways that physicians consume information, and he and his team addressed all of these in the Parkinson’s Toolkit. “First, physicians can use the app to help them plan what to cover before a patient visit. Second, during the visit, the app addresses diagnosis, emerging issues, and medications. Third, the app provides all the detailed information you may need following a visit.”
The success of the first app, which was aimed at doctors, provided the infrastructure and know-how to design a new app aimed directly at patients, caregivers, and families. Parkinson’s Central provides up to date evidence-based information on diagnosis, treatment, and also information on how to live a better life. The app goes beyond diagnosis and management. It delves into social aspects of the disease, mental health, finances, and overall life management. The app addresses a healthy lifestyle inclusive of nutrition and exercise. It also features a “Near Me” function to help identify practitioners nearby via a zip code search.
Reaching the world with Parkinson’s disease information is a daunting challenge. Recently, with the publication of my book, Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life, I learned the challenges of getting the word out to all languages and cultures about Parkinson’s disease care. Though the book is translated into over 20 languages, there are still many people we failed to reach. Innovative solutions such as the Parkinson’s Toolkit and Parkinson’s Central can help us to utilize the technology to reach and to also help more people suffering with this disease.
Posted: 8/1/2013 7:16:46 AM by
Browse current and archived What's Hot in PD? articles, the National Parkinson Foundation's monthly blog for people with Parkinson's written by our National Medical Director, Dr. Michael S. Okun.
Pimavanserin and the Hope for a Better Drug for Hallucinations and Psychosis in Parkinson’s Disease
Halting of the Creatine Study
The Importance of Identifying and Treating Caregiver Strain
Putting Parkinson’s Disease Information into the Palm of Your Hand: Parkinson’s Enters the Smartphon
What Parkinson’s Disease Patients Need to Know about H. Pylori Gastrointestinal Infections
A2A Receptor Antagonists and Parkinson’s Disease Treatment
Another Setback for Trophic Factor Treatment in Parkinson's Disease
IPX066 and What Patients Really Want in New Carbidopa/Levodopa (Sinemet) Formulations
The Weather Forecast for Parkinson’s Disease Calls for Worldwide Economic Storm
Defeating the Barriers to Implementing Exercise Regimens in Parkinson’s Disease Patients
When should you start medication therapy for Parkinson’s disease?
Neurologist Care Reduces Hospitalizations in Parkinson's Disease
A Victory in Court for Parkinson's Disease Patients who Require Ongoing Rehabilitative Therapies
Given the recent FDA announcement about Mirapex (pramipexole), should I be worried about dopamine agonists?
What about the new Parkinson’s Disease Vaccine? What should I know?
Caffeine as a Potential Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
Time to Consider GPi DBS for Parkinson’s Disease: A Shift in the Practice of Patient Selection for DBS
A New Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease-Related Constipation
Too Many Pills: Improving Delivery Systems for Parkinson’s Disease Drugs
Measuring Quality and Assessing Depression in Parkinson's Disease
Watch out for Unexpected Obstacles if You Use a Cueing Strategy to Break Freezing of Gait in Parkinson’s Disease
Pill Color, Generic Medications and Insurance Issues: Important Medication-Related Tips for the Parkinson’s Disease Patient
Are Blood Tests for Parkinson’s Disease on the Horizon?
Placing Stem Cells in Animal Models of Parkinson’s Disease: Another Important Step
Important News for the Parkinson’s Disease Community: More Evidence that Sinemet and Madopar are Not Toxic and do Not Accelerate Disease Progression
The Case for All Parkinson’s Disease Patients to be Co-managed by a Primary Care-Neurologist Team
Scientists say Research on Brain Proteins Involved in Parkinson’s Disease is “Shaping” Up
Who Actually Takes Care of Most of the Parkinson’s Patients Worldwide: The Need for Education and the Parkinson’s Toolkit
If you are Dizzy or Passing Out, it could be Your Parkinson’s Disease or Parkinson’s Disease Medications
How Will Group Visits for Parkinson’s Disease Fit into the Future of Parkinson’s Disease Care?
Why Patients Should be Wary of Chelation Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease
Opening the Door to Gene Therapy in Parkinson’s Disease: The Need for Refinement of the Technology and Approach
Does it Matter if I Can’t Get Brand Sinemet?
Should I get a DaTscan or PET scan to confirm my diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease?
A Critical Reappraisal of the Worst Drugs in Parkinson’s Disease
Environmental Risks for PD: Manganese, Welding, Mining, and Parkinsonism
Calling for the FDA to Revise the Eight Sinemet a Day Rule
Dry Cleaning Solvents and Potential Environmental Risks for Developing Parkinson’s Disease
Maintaining the Balance: Why Parkinson’s Disease Patients Need to Understand Drug Recalls, Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts
Shining a Light on Parkinson’s Disease: Optogenetics Has a Bright Future in Research
Poor Medication Management of Parkinson's Disease During Hospital Admissions: Patients and Families Can Improve Their Hospital-Based Management
Why Are Patches and Continuous Release Technology a Big Deal to Parkinson's?
Is the PD SURG Trial Another Surge Forward for DBS Therapy?
Cycling in PD in Those Who Can’t Walk: Is it Possible?
New iPS Stem Cells for PD: What Does it Mean?
Time for Comprehensive Care Networks for PD
Is Parkinson's Disease a Prion Disease?
Parkinson's Disease Linked to Gaucher's Disease
Brain Cells Keep Time Stamps: Implications for Parkinson's Disease Therapies
Is it Safe to Have an MRI with a DBS in Place?
Take Care of Your Bones as They Are Affected in Parkinson's Disease (Even in Men)
Is it Time to Start Paying Attention to Pain Symptoms in Parkinson's Disease Patients?
Glutathione Fails to Demonstrate Significant Improvement in PD Symptoms
Keeping an Eye on Trials Important to the Parkinson's Disease Patient
Increased Risk of Melanoma in Parkinson's Disease
Finally a DBS Expert Consensus Statement Aimed at Their True Customers: The Patients
Pesticides and Environmental Exposure in Parkinson's disease: Should We Stay Away From the Stink Truck?
Is Exercise Effective Treatment and Protection Against PD?
Why are Transplant Trials Struggling to Succeed in the Treatment of PD?
Are Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors Disease Modifying or Neuroprotective in PD?
Update on Gene Therapy for Parkinson's Disease