, Singapore
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Health buddy app's 'Parkinson's Care' feature launched

It helps patients track its symptoms, which is part of the treatment for the disease.

To mark World Parkinson's Day, a care feature was added to Singapore's Health Buddy app to help patients with Parkinson's (PwPs) easily track their symptoms.

According to National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), the Singapore General Hospital and Singapore Health Services' (SingHealth) app added a digital tracker at the SingHealth's Buddy app, which will record key Parkinson's disease symptoms and complications including when will the effects of medication wear off, uncontrollable body movements, poor sleep and low blood pressure.

NNI, Singapore's national and regional centre for neurosciences research, also noted that the symptoms of Parkinson's may differ from day to day and hour to hour, with more complications arising as the condition progresses. This could be difficult for PwPs, caregivers, and health professionals treating this neurodegenerative disease.

“When we see a patient in the clinic, we can only assess their symptoms at that point in time but this may not be an accurate reflection of their experience over the past few months," said Associate Prakash Kumar, senior consultant at NNI's Department of Neurology. 

"So tracking symptoms between appointments is an important part of PD self-care, because it gives the healthcare team a much clearer picture of their condition and how it is progressing. This helps us make appropriate treatment changes to help them manage their symptoms,” he added.

Whilst there is no current cure for the condition, NNI said treating PwPs focuses on managing symptoms.

Teh Choon Ling, centre manager of Parkinson Society Singapore, the app will act as a digital journal for PwPs, which will be easier as patients, who have writing difficulties, usually log their symptoms using a notebook. 

“A digital journal makes sharing of information with caregivers or loved ones much easier, and the report feature allows for an instant overview of all their symptoms. Medication management with reminders preset is also very useful for both PwP and their caregivers,” she said.

NNI, also a member of SingHealth, cited that about three in 1,000 Singaporeans in the age group of 50 years have Parkinson's disease, which is the second most common neurodegenerative ailment worldwide.

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