Apple Watch: better Parkinson’s control, better weather forecasts?

Apple has filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) titled ‘Passive Tracking of Dyskinesia/Tremor Symptoms’. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease often experience these involuntary muscle tremors.

The patent involves a watch with motion sensors that produce data that can be compared to the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS).

In the patent, Apple points out that tremors and dyskinesia typically happen when someone with Parkinson’s disease is receiving effective treatment for some of the disease’s other symptoms.

Keeping track of Parkinson’s symptoms with, for example, an Apple Watch would help both patients and their doctors. The latter will get a better understanding of what type of involuntary tremors a patient is experiencing at specific times of the day.

In the application, Apple states that it’s very hard for doctors to accurately schedule patients’ medication because every case is different, and even a specific patient can have symptoms that fluctuate during the day, depending on food intake and other medications, for example.

With such a tracking tool, a patient’s response to treatment can be more accurately evaluated, helping doctors to adjust medication when needed. Having precise information about symptom patterns will also help Parkinson’s sufferers to better plan their day.

On a lighter note, BBC meteorologist Tomasz Schafernaker was recently presenting a live TV weather forecast while wearing his Apple Watch.

While he was sharing information on a snowstorm that recently hit parts of Minneapolis, Siri unexpectedly interrupted him. She discredited what Schafermaker had just said and promptly proceeded to give an opposing forecast.

After this, he tried in vain to continue with his presentation, but he was mercilessly ridiculed by his co-host. It remains a mystery what exactly prompted Siri, but nobody really cared: his colleagues (and most likely also viewers) enjoyed making fun of him.

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