Technology in Parkinson's disease: challenges and opportunities

Alberto J. Espay*, Paolo Bonato, Fatta B. Nahab, Walter Maetzler, John M. Dean, Jochen Klucken, Bjoern M. Eskofier, Aristide Merola, Fay Horak, Anthony E. Lang, Ralf Reilmann, Joe Giuffrida, Alice Nieuwboer, Malcolm Horne, Max A. Little, Irene Litvan, Tanya Simuni, E. Ray Dorsey, Michelle A. Burack, Ken KubotaAnita Kamondi, Catarina Godinho, Jean-Francois Daneault, Georgia Mitsi, Lothar Krinke, Jeffery M. Hausdorff, Bastiaan R. Bloem, Spyros Papapetropoulos,

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The miniaturization, sophistication, proliferation, and accessibility of technologies are enabling the capture of more and previously inaccessible phenomena in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, more information has not translated into a greater understanding of disease complexity to satisfy diagnostic and therapeutic needs. Challenges include noncompatible technology platforms, the need for wide-scale and long-term deployment of sensor technology (among vulnerable elderly patients in particular), and the gap between the "big data" acquired with sensitive measurement technologies and their limited clinical application. Major opportunities could be realized if new technologies are developed as part of open-source and/or open-hardware platforms that enable multichannel data capture sensitive to the broad range of motor and nonmotor problems that characterize PD and are adaptable into self-adjusting, individualized treatment delivery systems. The International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society Task Force on Technology is entrusted to convene engineers, clinicians, researchers, and patients to promote the development of integrated measurement and closed-loop therapeutic systems with high patient adherence that also serve to (1) encourage the adoption of clinico-pathophysiologic phenotyping and early detection of critical disease milestones, (2) enhance the tailoring of symptomatic therapy, (3) improve subgroup targeting of patients for future testing of disease-modifying treatments, and (4) identify objective biomarkers to improve the longitudinal tracking of impairments in clinical care and research. This article summarizes the work carried out by the task force toward identifying challenges and opportunities in the development of technologies with potential for improving the clinical management and the quality of life of individuals with PD. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1272-1282
    Number of pages11
    JournalMovement Disorders
    Issue number9
    Early online date29 Apr 2016
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

    Bibliographical note

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: EEspay, A. J., Bonato, P., Nahab, F. B., Maetzler, W., Dean, J. M., Klucken, J., ... Movement Disorders Society Task Force on Technology (2016). Technology in Parkinson's disease: challenges and opportunities. Movement Disorders, 31(9), 1272-1282, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


    • digital biomarkers
    • digital health
    • eHealth
    • Parkinson's disease
    • precision medicine
    • remote monitoring
    • technology
    • wearable technology


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