Close up image of a caretaker helping older woman walk

A start-up software developer has received the go-ahead from the Food and Drug Administration to help patients track their Parkinson’s disease symptoms via Apple Watch.

San Francisco-based Rune Labs’ StrivePD software system will collect self-reported patient data from measurements made by the watch, the company disclosed Monday. The software allows patients to track tremors and other movement symptoms using the devices’ motion sensors, which already can detect falls, according to Reuters. This may aid patients in managing their disease and clinicians in tailoring medications to ease symptoms and improve functioning, Rune Labs noted. 

“When people with Parkinson’s are prescribed new medications, adjusting how much to take and when to take it until they find something that works can be a lengthy process,” said app developer Aura Oslapas, who has Parkinson’s disease. “StrivePD helps people to track their symptoms and improvements, accelerating the time to an optimal medication schedule, and with today’s clearance, more people will have access to this life-changing technology,” Oslapas said.

The software “enables a data-driven approach to care management” when combined with brain imaging, electrophysiology, genetic and other clinical data, the company said. Clinicians can pair the data from StrivePD with data from other therapeutic software such as partner company Medtronic’s Percept PC Deep Brain Stimulation device, for example.

Rune Labs also is eyeing potential future uses of the software to detect the earliest signs of Parkinson’s. The company also is involved in connecting patients with clinical trials.

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