The Future of Parkinson Disease Treatment With Innovative Wearable Devices: Alistair Mackett, MD


The movement disorder specialist at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust discussed the rise of wearable technology for managing Parkinson disease to potentially empower patients and monitor the disease at early stages. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"With wearable technology, patients are going to know before they further progress into the disease. They can then see that [wearable devices] are an option and they can get in contact with their provider about it. In the future, hopefully we will be going towards AI predicting and preventing symptoms. I think wearable technology really is coming to its full. At the MDS [Congress], there was a huge number of companies who are looking at monitoring PD with these devices and I think in the future, we're going to see much more of that.”

The rising prevalence of patients diagnosed with Parkinson disease (PD) is becoming an increasing concern owing to the aging population globally. To combat this, wearable devices introduced into the field have shown the potential to improve the clinical care of those living with PD while also reducing the costs for health care.1 In a new research study published in Achieves of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, findings suggested that wearable cueing devices may result in an immediate improvement in walking speed but required more evidence on significantly improving other gait or motor functions.2

At the 2023 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, held August 27-31, in Copenhagen, Denmark, lead author Alistair Mackett, MD, presented findings from a case study of a 77-year-old patient with PD with rapidly progressive freezing of gait followed over a 4-month period. In the study, treatment with the use of a focused vibrotactile stimulation and curing device (FVCD) resulted in sustained improvement in Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) III.3 Following the device acclimatization, baseline MDS-UPDRS III score improved from 35 to 29 and was maintained at the 4 month follow up visit, with a score of 28.

After the meeting, Mackett, a movement disorder specialist at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and clinical assessor at Charco Neurotech, sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to further discuss the use of Charco’s CUE1 device from the study presented. He talked about how CUE1 simplifies the management of PD symptoms for patients and what the early data suggests about the safety and efficacy of the device. In addition, Mackett shared his thoughts from a clinical perspective on how wearable technology and AI mechanisms could potentially revolutionize PD care in the future.

Click here for more coverage of MDS 2023.

1. Tam W, Alajlani M, Abd-Alrazaq A. An Exploration of Wearable Device Features Used in UK Hospital Parkinson Disease Care: Scoping Review. J Med Internet Res. 2023;25:e42950. Published 2023 Aug 18. doi:10.2196/42950
2. Zhang T, Meng DT, Lyu DY, Fang BY. The Efficacy of Wearable Cueing Devices on Gait and Motor Function in Parkinson Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials [published online ahead of print, 2023 Aug 1]. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2023;S0003-9993(23)00419-7. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2023.07.007
3. A. Mackett. Case report on the use of a High Frequency Vibrotactile Stimulation and Cueing Device over 4 months in a patient with Parkinson’s Disease and refractory symptoms [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2023; 38 (suppl 1). Accessed September 21, 2023.
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