Smartphone Applications for Parkinson’s Management
I always find technology interesting because of its ability to push us into the future. During my lifetime, we’ve gone from living in the stone ages to relying on technology for almost everything that we do.
When applied to Parkinson’s disease, I’m always curious to learn about the latest technologies that are being developed and how they could benefit my dad who lives with the condition. The following applications may be used for Parkinson’s management and they target different areas of the disease.
One Step Gait Analysis evaluates gait in Parkinson’s patients using smartphone sensors. While previous technologies may have relied on expensive, wearable technology to analyze the same movements, our cell phones may have enough power to provide similar results today.
One Step offers an application that allows participants to choose the area of the body that they’d like to analyze. It also allows users to customize their experience by determining how they’d like to target physical therapy lessons (online, in person, a combination). And it offers a free trial, connecting you to a physical therapist to target your struggles.
At some point, those of us who live with a chronic condition will forget to take our medications. All of the days blur together, and suddenly you’re not sure whether or not you’ve covered your bases.
The My Therapy: Medication Reminder app helps you to schedule times to take your medication, and to prompt you to do so every day. This can also be a helpful tool if you’re in the habit of taking several medications at different times throughout the day.
My dad tends to rely on his Alexa devices to keep him on his toes. All he has to do is ask her to set up a daily reminder to take his Parkinson's medication. And, as long as he’s near her during that allotted time, he won’t forget. The perk of using a medication tracker app over a smart device like Alexa, is that you’re more likely to have access to it at all times.
One of the challenging parts of Parkinson’s is that it impacts you differently every day. So, on one day, you might be feeling great, and capable of getting around on your own. And on the next, you might be house-bound. Enter: Parkinson’s Home Exercises.
This application can be downloaded on both iPhones and Androids. And it describes 50 different exercises that are designed specifically for Parkinson’s disease. So, for example, you might practice movements that help with your gait or your core strength.
This is a great tool for introverts, or for those who are looking to take some of their exercise training into their own hands, but I encourage you to talk to your doctor before considering any at-home physical therapy or exercise program.
As for my dad, he does a combination of exercises and stretching. He attends in-person classes several days a week. And then he follows a mobility routine at home on his own.
Have you or a loved one ever had a bone density scan?