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Rune Labs, a San Francisco neurology start-up, received approval from the FDA to utilize the Apple Watch to track and monitor Parkinson’s symptoms.
The Rune app, StrivePD, combines brain imaging, self-reported experiences, as well as other clinical info with watch tracking to form a “data-driven method to care organization and clinical study designed for Parkinson’s symptoms,” a Rune spokesperson said in a press release.
The watch’s motion sensor can be combined with the data from other causes, including brain monitoring tech from a partner company, Medtronics, said founder and CEO of Rune Brian Pepin.
Rune revealed its partnership to collect data with Medtronics’ Percept Deep Brain Stimulation device last year.
Using the data from these many sources, Rune wants to help people’s therapies based on their symptoms of Parkinson’s by producing reports patients can disclose to their doctors.
The doctors collect data on the Parkinson’s symptoms of their patients during clinical visits. Although Parkinson’s symptoms can vary significantly over time, making doctor visits is similar to a quick snapshot rather than a correct representation of the patient’s condition.
“Being able to show my doctor now my motor function symptoms were changing, thanks to StrivePD, was the biggest incentive to get my surgery for the deep brain stimulation device,” said Aura Oslapas, who invented StrivePD.
“People who have Parkinson’s are given new medications. Figuring out how much to take and when to take it until they figure out something that works can be a long, arduous process,” explained Oslapas, who has worked with Rune since the company repurchased StrivePD in 2019.
While other devices can track Parkinson’s symptoms, the convenience and ubiquity of the Apple Watch mean “much more people will have access to this life-saving tech,” explained Oslapas.
The FDA approval allows doctors to use insurance and Medicare billing codes when looking at the data from this device, reported STAT.
TechCrunch reported that volunteers tried the software at Mount Sinai and UC San Francisco for six months, TechCrunch reported.
Apple has displayed interest in Parkinson’s research recently. They have filed multiple patents and published a study in Science Translational Medicine exhibiting the watch’s ability to track Parkinson’s symptoms during everyday life.