Sheffield Hallam University is supporting a project that could revolutionise care for Parkinson’s patients on a national scale.
The project, led by the University of Plymouth and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, will focus on co-designing a new service to help Parkinson’s patients, carers and healthcare staff monitor a person’s condition remotely – ensuring care remains person-centred.
Sheffield Hallam has joined several other organisations and groups to support the project, including Parkinson’s UK, Radboud University and the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.
The project officially launched this week at an event in Plymouth, following the news that £75,000 funding from the Health Foundation and £15,500 funding from a Parkinson’s UK Excellence Network Service Improvement Grant had been donated to the project.
The service will initially be delivered to 150 patients in and around Plymouth as a pilot. If successful, the team hopes the system could be rolled out across the UK. The launch event brought together people with Parkinson’s their families, healthcare teams, technology experts and project partners to ensure that care delivery meets the needs and expectations of people living with the condition.
One of the main elements of the project is the introduction of a wrist-worn device known as a personal kinetigraph, so the wearer and a specialist team can monitor their condition at home.
The service will also deliver an education package, providing people with the knowledge they need to manage Parkinson’s symptoms.
Dr Joe Langley is a senior research fellow in healthcare innovation in the Sheffield Hallam University Lab4Living, alongside colleagues Rebecca Partridge and Ursula Ankeny, he is designing the training, support and learning resources participants will need in order to make use of the technology.
Dr Joe Langley, said: “Implementing anything of this scale and complexity into an already complex system is incredibly challenging. We’re very lucky to have been working with the team in Plymouth in recent years on various projects, and hope that the efforts of this project will lead to improved working conditions for extremely pressured staff, and improved quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s.”
Project lead Dr Camille Caroll, Associate Professor at the University of Plymouth, said: “The UK prevalence of Parkinson’s disease will increase by a fifth by 2025, so the challenges associated with providing a timely and patient-centred service will also be much higher. We want to help people with Parkinson’s to live the best lives they can, and this project aims to empower patients to take control of their condition.”