“The BEAT-PD projects are unlocking the potential of data collected by digital devices to help people with Parkinson’s, their physicians, and researchers,” said Dr. Mark Frasier of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
A team from Bar-Ilan University is one of four winners of the BEAT-PD DREAM Challenge, a data competition designed to benchmark new methods to predict Parkinson’s disease severity, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and Sage Bionetworks announced June 17.
Ayala Matzner, Yuval El-Hanany, and Prof. Izhar Bar-Gad made up the Bar-Ilan team, which was the only winning team from outside the U.S.
The three other winning teams were from Harvard Medical School, University of Rochester Medical Center, and the University of Michigan. Forty-three teams participated in the challenge.
BEAT-PD stands for “Biomarker and Endpoint Assessment to Track Parkinson’s Disease.” The challenge focused on predicting the disease status and severity of key symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as tremor and dyskinesia, based solely on data collected from smartwatches and smartphones of the patients during free everyday behavior.
“By focusing on data collected in the home environment without supervision, we are targeting the harder problem of understanding the personalized variation in disease burden,” says Dr. Larsson Omberg, vice president of systems biology at Sage Bionetworks.
The methods developed by the Bar-Ilan team bring researchers one step closer to the promise of at-home monitoring of Parkinson’s disease progression. “Ideally, insights derived from the challenge can aid in the development of digital biomarkers for PD,” Omberg said.
“We congratulate all the winners,” said Dr. Mark Frasier, senior vice president of research programs at MJFF.
“Sensor data holds potential for helping us understand the daily experience of Parkinson’s patients and how disease progresses over time,” he said.
“The BEAT-PD projects are unlocking the potential of data collected by digital devices to help people with Parkinson’s, their physicians, and researchers. Now, more than ever, we understand the critical importance of remote monitoring for the safe and effective delivery of healthcare and the progress of clinical research,” Frasier said.