NeuRA, Michael J. Fox Foundation and Sensoria Health

Helping Parkinson’s Patients Improve Rehabilitation Outcomes and Quality of Life

Neuroscience Research Australia Awarded Michael J. Fox Foundation Grant to Help Parkinson’s Patients Improve Rehabilitation Outcomes and Quality of Life

The research project is made possible by the MJFF grant award, and Sensoria Health investment, textile sensor infused smart socks and Sensoria Core microelectronics

Faced with the world’s rapidly aging population and its burden on the healthcare system, one of the intense areas of development in mHealth is remote and continuous patient monitoring. It requires careful integration of wearable sensors and wireless body networks.

According to ReportBuyer: “Over the next decade, innovations within the mHealth market will be driven by the evolution of new smart devices and wearables, improvements in wireless coverage and remote monitoring, and the diagnosis and treatment of prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). mHealth technologies are no longer a nice to have but a must-have technology enabling companies to more effectively compete.”

Sensoria Health has established itself as a leading developer of Internet of Me (IoMe) wearables including IoT hardware, smart footwear and artificial intelligence software that will improve people’s lives. Sensoria collects novel and clinically relevant data-sets (i.e. balance, foot landing, time on the ground, shuffling…) with the goal of enabling a full feature real-time gait monitoring system.

Quantifiable Gait Assessment The popularity of wearables has had significant impact within the healthcare sector. However, the data they collect (i.e. approximate number of steps) is too shallow and not very clinically relevant, and on top of that current medical devices are perceived as a stigma. Both medical devices and consumer wearables are unable to monitor and maximize usage (adherence) and accurately measure relevant biometrics, accurate gait parameters, and even med compliance of elderly (i.e. Gait impairments, patients recovering from cardiac events and surgery, or suffering from neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, ALS or Parkinson’s disease).

Consumers have embraced sensor infused devices and are adopting them for a wide variety of users, both with or without a prescription. Wearables help to personalize data for the end user. In addition, sustainable wearable devices have the ability to provide real-time actionable data.

Continuous patient monitoring requires careful integration of wearable sensors and wireless body sensor networks. Here’s what Sensoria is focused in on: Gait Observation and Rehab Monitoring with Sensor Infused Smart Footwear.

Specifically, in terms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), Sensoria Health is honored and excited to partner with the Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), a leader in brain and nervous system research based in Sydney, Australia on the research project StandingTall-PD, led by Principal Investigators Matthew Brodie and Kim Delbaere. It is an innovative and engaging neuro-rehabilitation program using truly wearable technologies to reduce step-time variability, prevent freezing of gait (FOG) and falls, and enhance independence in people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.

Monitor Patient Gait and Rehab Process The research study will be conducted on over one hundred patients wearing the Sensoria smart socks with a placebo randomized controlled trial.

Matthew Brodie, Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator
“People with PD have substantial barriers to maintaining their independence. Our program has individually tailored tools to empower all people with PD to manage their symptoms, increase capacity to remain independent and enjoy the highest possible quality of life.”

This joint research project is funded in part by Sensoria Health and by a research grant now awarded by the prestigious Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Michal J. Fox Foundation in numbers

With an impressive team of extremely diverse yet complimentary skill sets, we are poised to have exceptional outcomes and success:
  • Matthew Brodie is a Michael and Elizabeth Gilbert Fellow in Parkinson’s Disease Research at Neuroscience Research Australia and Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales. He has over a decade of experience developing and testing of remote monitoring, eHealth, and other technology-enhanced interventions to tackle outstanding problems at the intersection of engineering, medicine and neurosciences.
  • Kim Delbaere is a Principal Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), and Associate Professor at University of New South Wales, Sydney. Kim Delbaere is a leading international researcher in the area of accidental falls in older people. She is a physiotherapist with extensive experience in designing and testing home-based exercise interventions using remote technology to advance healthy ageing.
  • Davide Vigano is Sensoria’s CEO and cofounder where his team developed and delivered some of the first consumer smart garment, artificial intelligence software and textile sensor infused solutions in the world. He is a former Microsoft General Manager and partner level executive with over 25 years of product management experience.
  • Colleen Canning is Emeritus Professor of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Sydney. Her research includes investigation of the contribution of motor and cognitive impairments to disability and falls in Parkinson’s disease; as well as the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve mobility and decrease falls.
  • Nigel Lovell is currently at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering UNSW Sydney where he holds a position of Scientia Professor and Head of School. He has authored 250+ journal papers and been awarded over $50 million in R&D and infrastructure funding.
  • Professor Stephen Lord is a Senior Principal Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia. He has published over 400 papers in the areas of applied physiology, instability, falls and fractures in older people and is acknowledged as a leading international researcher in his field.
  • Thomas Lung is a Health Economist and Senior Research Fellow at the George Institute for Global Health. He is currently the lead health economist on 6 large randomized clinical trials, worth over $7 million of The National Health and Medical Research Council’s (Australia) funding.
  • Victor Fung is Clinical Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney and Director of the Movement Disorders Unit, Department of Neurology, Westmead Hospital.
  • Jo-Anne Reeves is the CEO of Parkinson’s NSW with over 20 years of experience in the planning, implementation and management of fundraising campaigns, public relations, promotions programs, event management and developing creative strategies, with the goal of improving the support provided to people with Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Jacqueline Close is a Principal Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Conjoint Professor at University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. She is an international figure in the field of falls and injury prevention and management having undertaken a number of clinical trials in high risk populations including those with dementia.
  • Günter Schreier received the doctoral and Habilitation degrees in Electrical Engineering/Biomedical informatics from the Graz University of Technology and is currently a Senior Scientist and Thematic Coordinator for “Predictive Healthcare Information Systems” with the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH.
  • Emily Henderson is a Consultant Geriatrician at the Royal United Hospitals Bath and an Honorary Consultant Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol. She was awarded a fellowship to undertake a PhD in preventing falls in Parkinson’s the results of which were published in Lancet Neurology in 2016.
  • Mark Latt is Associate Professor at the Sydney Medical School, the University of Sydney and Geriatrician at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He was a principal investigator in multicenter randomized controlled trial involving exercise, falls prevention, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

If successful, StandingTall-PD could be made available to people with PD on completion of this project. Our early engagement of end-users, Parkinson’s NSW and The Michael J. Fox Foundation in partnership with Neuroscience Research Australia and Sensoria Health Inc will help accelerate global implementation. The global uptake of mobile technology makes our user-friendly product suitable for widespread community application.

Smart footwear and wearable sensors have the potential to change the way in which physicians, patients and the entire population view healthcare. We all look forward to working together as a team to make it happen and improve patients’ quality of life and outcomes.

About Sensoria

Our vision is The Garment is The Computer®. Headquartered in Redmond, (WA) Sensoria Health Inc. is a leading developer of IoMe (Internet of Me) smart garments and artificial intelligence solutions focused on improving people's lives. Sensoria’s proprietary sensor infused smart garments, Sensoria Core microelectronics and cloud system enable smart footwear and clothing to collect and convert novel data sets into actionable information for health and rehab in real-time. Sensoria® is a registered trademark of Sensoria Inc.