The pocket doctor will see you now
In a bid to continue proving their worth, there is now a new app that can diagnose Parkinson’s disease via subtle changes in voice and motion.
The app can detect slight variations in a person’s behaviour, which may indicate the beginning of Parkinson’s.
The app has been tested on a group of 2,500 people with Parkinson’s, those with hereditary genes that indicate it and healthy types too.
Early reports suggest it has a 99% success rate, and indicated 98% of Parkinson’s sufferers.
A man – a mathematician no less – named Dr Max Little, from the University of Aston, who is leading the research, said: "Not only can you predict whether someone has Parkinson's disease or not, you can actually score their symptoms on clinical scales.
"This new kind of remote data analysis will help patients to monitor their conditions on a minute-by-minute basis from the comfort of their own homes. Of course, it is still important that they receive regular advice and treatment from medical professionals, who may also benefit from this new technology."
"Physicians may be able to use data collected by their patients' smartphones to prescribe medications .. This information may also help examine people thought susceptible to developing Parkinson's disease. The condition is hard to diagnose, with specialists having to take a detailed history of people's symptoms and analysing them for physical signs of the disease."
"Using smartphone data may help to make this process much easier."
If this all goes well, despite the ethically dodgy area of diagnosing illness via a phone – a step up from ‘my chest hurts so I better Google and see if I have AIDS’ quandary - that voice analysis could also be used detect mental deficits linked to Alzheimer's and anxiety.