Friday, September 28, 2012

Crowdsourcing Parkinson's Disease Research

My father had Parkinson's Disease. He suffered from the disease, from the drugs he was given to treat the disease, and from the fear that his symptoms would increase.

Researchers are working on a way to diagnose Parkinson's Disease by analyzing people's voice patterns. They claim that in clinical settings they can record a person's voice, and a computer can analyze the recording and correctly diagnose the disease in 99% of cases. They are able to do this because Parkinson's Disease affects a person's ability to breath and to control movement of the vocal cords. Now, the researchers are testing whether the test can be performed over a telephone, so that a person would not even have to visit a clinic in order to be tested. The patient could simply say “ah” and recite a few phrases into the phone to receive a diagnosis. Hopefully, patients would then be able to receive whatever medical treatment is available or becomes available in the future.

I recently phoned the researchers at 857-284-8035, said “ah” and recited a few phrases so that they could record my voice to help them develop their phone-in diagnostic technique. It took less than two minutes of my time. I wasn't asked anything other than my age, gender, and whether I have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. The researchers need thousands of people, with and without Parkinson's, to run their computer diagnosis on. Maybe you'd like to help by making the call.

No comments:

Post a Comment