Apple Watch could soon be able to detect, monitor Parkinson's disease

Apple is opening up a new "movement disorder" application programming interface to help researchers and medical professionals study the differences between random movements and the shakes Parkinson's disease patients experience, according to CNBC.

The API will enhance Apple's ongoing research into how wearable devices, like the Apple Watch, can be used to monitor Parkinson's progression, Peter Schmidt, PhD, senior vice president and chief research and clinical officer at the Parkinson's Foundation who has been advising Apple's health team, told CNBC. It also uses algorithms that can report back only the data proven to correlate with a Parkinson's tremor versus that of normal movement, such as riding a bicycle.  

Dr. Schmidt said this new application for the Apple Watch could help patients identify when their medications are wearing off throughout the day or when they may need to increase their dosages.

"Many patients don't know it's happening and they think they're getting tired or hungry and symptoms are returning," he told CNBC. For those patients, taking their medications earlier could be a big help. "That small change could help make a big difference with their symptoms."

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