Medical school launches Parkinson's telemedicine solution

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Neurologists at University of Rochester Medical Center have created The Parkinson's Disease Care, New York (PDCNY) program as a virtual network for patients in the state.

Participants interact with a disease specialist at URMC via a web-based teleconferencing system, and there is no charge for the virtual house calls.The program is supported with grants from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation and the Edmond J. Safra Foundation.

Participants with iPhones will be able to use the mPower app developed by URMC and Sage Bionetworks.  The app, designed as a research study using Apple's ResearchKit, uses sensors in the iPhone to measure dexterity, voice fluctuations, balance and gait, and memory. CareKit, the latest software framework designed by Apple, also can be used to coordinate care.

"Providing coordinated, ongoing care to Parkinson's patients in the traditional settings of a doctor's office requires these individuals and their caregivers and families to travel, often long distances, and is expensive for payers and patients alike," said URMC neurologist Kevin Biglan, M.D., M.P.H., the director of the PDCNY program.


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