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Mobile phones to help people with Parkinson’s Disease

Connected Health systems might soon be playing a major role in helping people with Parkinson’s Disease.

An academic at the University of Portsmouth, hopes to develop two mobile phone Apps to enable the thousands of people with Parkinson’s improve their speech and allow them to be better understood by family, friends and healthcare workers.

Dr Eglin, of the university’s Department of Creative Technologies, recently received a £35,000 innovation grant from leading research charity Parkinson’s UK to develop the Apps.

Dr Eglin said: “Many people with Parkinson’s already have and use mobile phones, making them a low-cost, simple and effective way for helping people improve their own speech.

“We’ve already developed a basic mobile phone application to improve speech, but it needs to be further improved and tailored specifically for people with Parkinson’s.

Dr Eglin will work with Peter Nolan, Vaughan Powell and Lee Prior from Portsmouth and Julia Johnson and Professor Ray Chaudhuri from King’s College Hospital, London.

They aim to develop two key functions to help people improve their speech: A feedback meter will help people see how loud their speech is compared to background noise and indicate what adjustment is required to be heard properly; and a voice training function to encourage people to speak more loudly, which can make them easier to understand.

Such Apps could also be used by health professionals to monitor progress remotely, making speech therapy cheaper and more accessible for those with Parkinson’s.

Dr Eglin said: “If we’re successful, we hope to develop useful mobile phone based applications which can help people with Parkinson’s who experience speech difficulties – helping them to communicate better with their families and friends and increasing their confidence in social situations.”

For more information on Parkinson’s Disease click here

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4 Responses to "Mobile phones to help people with Parkinson’s Disease"

  1. Val Greaves says:

    I welcome your work with trying to addapt apps as I am one of the 75% that suffer from loss off speach I have a phone the keypad is rather small I hope you will cosider this I would appresiate any information thank you Val Greaves

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