Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Intel is collaborating in order to develop a wearable device that’ll help monitor patients with Huntington that is a fatal degenerative disease. The two companies will deploy the technology as part of an ongoing mid-stage Huntington’s study.
The disorder is inherited and causes a progressive breakdown of the nerve cells in the brain. It results in a gradual decline in motor control, mental stability and cognition. As of yet, there is no drug that can alter the course of the disorder. There are some medicines that only keep the symptoms in check. The record says that patients typically succumb to the disease within 15-25 years of diagnosis.
What they are planning to develop is a smartwatch that’ll be equipped with a sensing technology. It’ll take the help of smartphone in continuously measuring functioning and movements. The data collected will then be wirelessly streamed to a cloud-based platform that is developed by Intel, and it’ll translate into a real-time score that’ll access motor symptom severity.
The collaboration will blur the line between pharmaceuticals and technology companies as they’ll together tackle chronic diseases using high-tech devices and combining them with biological findings.
“The aim of this important project is to provide continuous objective data on the impact of Huntington disease on the patient, and, by extension, a clear understanding of the impact of treatment on patients’ quality of life,” said Michael Hayden, President of Teva Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer. “Current measurement of symptoms is largely based on observation when the patient sees the doctor. This technology now provides us with an opportunity to have continuous monitoring. This unique technology could complement future trials in HD.”
“Patients generate data based on their day-to-day experiences that can help in improving disease management — even something as simple as wearing a smart watch can add useful insight,” said Jason Waxman, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Datacenter Solutions Group at Intel. “The complexity of analysing these data streams requires a platform for machine learning, to help drive the pharmaceutical industry towards faster, better clinical trials, potentially leading to new treatments for patients.”