South Australian startup Lookinglass, based at the University of South Australia's Innovation and Collaboration Centre Innovation, announced the release of an artificial intelligence (AI) web app that can detect early-stage Parkinson’s disease.

Users simply upload a video recording and while it uploads, the computer vision system simultaneously uses AI to track movement and compares it with known Parkinson’s symptoms, producing an immediate report.

The app could be a particularly beneficial telehealth technology for occupational therapists working with patients in remote areas.

The company’s upcoming smart mirror acts as an extension of the app, which helps simplify the assessment process for occupational therapists.

“It’s difficult for people in remote locations to access telehealth solutions and Parkinson’s disease makes it especially difficult for users to be able to push a button or press a touch-pad,” Lookinglass’ chief technology officer Simon Cullen said in a statement. “Our mirror will remove these barriers to accessing expert healthcare.”

He noted the potential for this technology could have other applications, especially for those who are isolated, living without assistance or in remote and regional areas.

The software will be integrated with the smart mirror as a real-time video-based diagnostic tool, designed for ongoing interaction in the home and the monitoring of symptoms over time.

The Lookinglass platform observes and then connects health care experts to the patients in their home and ensures they receive care when they need it.

Users who wish to try out the app can visit the company’s website, click on the "Get a demo" button and use the web form to contact the start-up.

“The problem for occupational therapists is in the ability to remotely assess patient movement using manual technology,” Lookingglass CEO Kelly Carpenter said in a statement. “Our solution removes the manual effort for diagnosis and reduces error caused by ineffective communication technologies. We want to help communities that need it the most by removing the barrier to accessing expert healthcare.”

Other efforts to harness the power of AI to detect the disease include Parkinson’s UK’s March 2018 research proposal, which demonstrated how AI technology could solve specific research challenges in Parkinson’s.

That proposal was chosen to receive AI-driven research support from BenevolentAI, one of Europe’s largest private AI companies.

The project will use BenevolentAI platform’s capabilities to reason, deduce and suggest entirely new treatments for Parkinson’s, with the aim of identifing at least three currently available medicines that can be repurposed to address Parkinson’s, and two brand-new ways to treat the condition with new drugs.

 

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