Intel to apply wearables, cloud storage and analytics to Parkinson's research

Courtesy of Intel

Intel ($INTC) has spent the past year adding tools for gathering and analyzing data, notably by taking a stake in Cloudera and buying Basis. And the strategy now has a major test case, with the Michael J. Fox Foundation teaming up with Intel to remotely monitor people with Parkinson's disease.

The collaboration began this year with a four-day, 25-person pilot program. Each participant--16 of whom had Parkinson's--was given a health-tracking device that took 300 measurements a second and generated one gigabyte of data a day. The project is now being scaled up, with the Michael J. Fox Foundation raising funds to give Basis health-tracking devices to people with Parkinson's. Using such a device will give researchers more objective data on the lives of patients.

"We want to be able to understand gait, fluidity of movement, tremors. … 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," Ronald Kasabian, general manager of Big Data solutions at Intel, told the BBC. Patients will also be given an app with which they can report when they take their medication and how they are feeling.

The data-gathering component is being married to Intel-powered cloud infrastructure and analytics from Cloudera to help researchers understand the disease. "We can collect objective measurements and determine the efficacy of new therapeutics," Michael J. Fox Foundation SVP Sohini Chowdhury told Reuters. "We're exploring how to pull data out of devices in real time. We can mine data to improve research, and better understand the behaviors and progression of the disease

- read Reuters' article
- here's the BBC piece
- check out VentureBeat's take
- and The Register's coverage
- get FierceMedicalDevices' coverage