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App uses AI to detect Parkinson’s disease


A South Australian-developed app can detect early-stage Parkinson’s disease by using artificial intelligence to analyse video, its designers say.

The software platform, released in April, was developed by a startup based at the University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre.

It allows users to upload a video recording of a patient, while the computer’s vision system uses AI to track movement and compare it with known symptoms of Parkinson’s, providing an almost instant report.

Kelly Carpenter and Simon Cullen

Lookinglass CEO Kelly Carpenter says the app is a step forward from existing telehealth technologies and will be especially useful for therapists who are working with remote patients.

“The problem for occupational therapists is in the ability to remotely assess patient movement using manual technology,” she 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.”

The technology has been tested by 16 occupational therapists in South Australian nursing homes.

‘Smart mirror’ makes detection easier

Lookinglass technology officer Simon Cullen says the app will be made more user-friendly for older Australians and make assessment easier for OT’s with a “smart mirror”, which is currently in development.

The smart mirror will allow participants to position themselves in front of a mirror which can relay images back to the therapist.

The smart mirror, an extension of the app, will be integrated with the software as a real-time diagnostic tool, providing an opportunity for ongoing interaction and monitoring of symptoms as a person goes about their daily activities in the home, Mr Cullen says.

“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,” he said.

“Our mirror will remove these barriers to accessing expert healthcare.”

A prototype of the mirror will be available at the end of the year.

The product is commercially available for health professionals here.

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