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Newcastle University Researchers to Develop Home-Based Care Pathway for Parkinson's Patients

Written by : Jayati Dubey

April 2, 2024

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The Home-Based Care pathway integrates wrist-worn sensor monitoring with support for managing Parkinson's symptoms.

Researchers from Newcastle University have initiated developing a home-based care pathway for individuals living with Parkinson's disease.

Supported by the Health Foundation and Parkinson's UK, this initiative has been started after consultation with patients, their families, and caregivers, ensuring alignment with their needs and priorities.

With the aim of addressing the significant unmet need for effective and efficient delivery of care for Parkinson's patients, the team is now working towards implementing the program nationally within the NHS, funded by the NHS England's Digital Health Partnership Award.

Camille Carroll, professor, clinical neuroscience, Newcastle University, who leads the project and serves as the study's senior author, said, "There is currently a significant unmet need for effective and efficiently delivered care for people living with Parkinson's. Through this new care pathway, we have shown the benefits of empowering people with knowledge and understanding of their condition."

She adds that the benefits of this approach extend not only to patients and their partners but also to healthcare teams and organizations providing their care.

Carroll further highlighted the importance of this new care pathway in meeting the evolving needs of Parkinson's patients, with the ultimate goal of making it available through Parkinson's services across the UK.

Components of the Home-Based Care Pathway

Introduced in 2019, the Home-Based Care pathway integrates at-home monitoring using wrist-worn sensors with support and information on recognizing and managing various Parkinson's symptoms.

Patients have the ability to reach out to healthcare practitioners for support when needed, enhancing accessibility and convenience of care.

The current study draws upon health checks and feedback obtained from 100 patients undergoing Parkinson's treatment at the Department of Neurology at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.

The findings underscore the safety and feasibility of the remotely delivered Parkinson's care pathway, paving the way for its more comprehensive implementation.

Addressing NHS’ Challenges

Parkinson's is the world's fastest-growing neurological condition, with projections estimating the number of UK patients to reach 170,000 by 2025.

Traditional care models involving regular, in-person clinical reviews by a movement disorders specialist are increasingly challenged by NHS pressures. The home-based care pathway offers a promising alternative, especially for underserved communities.

Dr Rowan Wathes, associate director, Policy and Health Strategy at Parkinson's UK, emphasizes the potential benefits of the remotely delivered care pathway for Parkinson's patients, particularly those from underserved communities.

According to him, "The study clearly shows that the remotely delivered Parkinson's care pathway is a safe and feasible model and we are excited by the potential benefits for people with Parkinson's, particularly those from underserved communities. We look forward to seeing the work progress including the results of formal comparisons with standard care."

Sharing thoughts, Rory Cellan-Jones, podcaster and technology writer, chairing an Advisory Group focused on the wider implementation of the Home-Based Care pathway, highlighted the need for a more flexible home-based system.

This system, according to him, would allow contact with healthcare professionals as needed, supported by new technology for detailed symptom assessment, catering to the evolving needs of Parkinson's patients.

The development of the Home-Based Care pathway has also involved researchers from the University of Plymouth and the Department of Neurology at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.


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