A novel iPhone application that may enable persons with Parkinson's disease and certain other neurological conditions to use the ubiquitous devices to collect data on hand and arm tremors and relay the results to medical personnel has been developed by researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI).
The program – known as iTrem – could be offered later this year by the App Store, an Apple Inc. website that sells iPhone applications. But iTrem will first undergo a clinical study at Emory University and must receive any required approvals from the Food and Drug Administration."We expect iTrem to be a very useful tool for patients and their caregivers," said Brian Parise, a research scientist who is principal investigator for the project along with Robert Delano, another GTRI research scientist.
"And as a downloadable application, it also promises to be convenient and cost-effective,” added Parise.
iTrem utilizes the iPhone's built-in accelerometer to collect data on a patient in his or her home or office. The application directly tracks tremor information currently, and in the future will use simple puzzle games to record tremor data, which will then be processed and transmitted.
The GTRI development team presented a paper on iTrem in January at the 2011 International Conference on Health Informatics.