Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is carrying out a six-month pilot of a smartphone app designed to monitor and manage Parkinson’s disease symptoms, with the aim of supporting more personalised patient care.

There are 90 patients taking part in the pilot of the Neu Health app, which began in March 2024 and will run until September 2024, with further adoption dependent on the outcome of an evaluation.

Parkinson’s disease is a condition which causes parts of the brain to become progressively damaged over time, with symptoms including involuntary shaking, slow movement and stiff, inflexible muscles.

The app aims to allow patients to manage their disease by allowing them to log symptoms, which provides data for personal tracking and clinical assessments.

It also integrates with clinical care teams, with inputted information automatically copying across to Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust via a secure dashboard.

Healthcare professionals are able to view data and insights about each patient to help them offer more personalised and effective treatment plans.

Commenting on the pilot, Dr Jeremy Cosgrove, consultant neurologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The number of people with Parkinson’s in the UK continues to grow, as the average age of the population increases.

“To keep up with demand and maintain a high level of care, we need to explore new ways of monitoring and reviewing some of our patients.  I am excited to be involved in this project and I look forward to exploring the results and hopefully improving our service.”

The app also includes customised health information and digital tests which can assess aspects of the patient’s conditions such as voice, walking, balance, tremor and finger dexterity.

Dr Kinan Muhammed, chief medical officer and co-founder at Neu Health, said: “We are very excited to partner with Leeds Teaching Hospital on this novel initiative.

“This approach has the potential to reshape the way neurology care is delivered within the NHS, ultimately benefiting both patients and healthcare professionals”.

Ian Bresloff, a patient who has been using the Neu Health app at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “I think it’s imperative that there are more objective measures of Parkinson’s symptoms, accessible and measurable in an environment outside of the clinic, providing for ongoing monitoring, with results available for review in the clinic, leading to more data-based medication dosing”.

In February 2024, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust began working with the laboratory information system, Clinisys’ WinPath to modernise its blood transfusion service.