Michael J Fox Foundation and Intel to develop wearable Parkinson’s sensor

14 Aug 2014

While the actor is involved in his foundation, Michael J Fox is not involved with the Intel smartwatch project

The Michael J Fox Foundation and Intel are to work together to develop a wearable sensor that could track the development of Parkinson’s disease in the user.

As part of its plan, the charitable foundation will equip patients with early stage Parkinson’s disease with smartwatches developed by Intel’s Basis division. An app to assist doctors in monitoring the effect of different medication on someone with the disease is also expected to be released soon, the BBC reported.

Named after the Hollywood actor most famous for his roles in the Back to the Future film series, the foundation was founded in 2000 to work on the treatment of the degenerative disease which affects the central nervous system and is, as yet, incurable.

It is believed the collaboration between the foundation and Intel came about after Intel’s former CEO, Andy Gove, worked with the foundation after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease himself.

Intel’s Basis watch, which will be used as the monitor for patients, will record 300 data points each second, amounting to more than 1GB of pure medical data every day, which will provide a significant amount of raw information Intel will be able to process and upload to a medical professional.

Speaking to the BBC, Intel’s manager of big data solutions said the chance to make significant medial process is huge.

“The researchers are dying for the insight. The ability to see what is happening to the patient on a minute-by-minute, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year basis – the tremors, the sleep habits – to see that in real-time will be one of the most eye-opening opportunities.”

Michael J Fox image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic