Telecom Italia and Palermo University: the trial of the help project for patients with Parkinson’s disease gets the go-ahead

09/25/2012 - 00:30 PM

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Thanks to an innovative remote medicine platform, it will be possible to monitor drug consumption data using a smartphone.

Telecom Italia and Palermo University are starting a trial of the “HELP” remote medicine project for patients with Parkinson’s disease at the “P. Giaccone” hospital in Palermo.

HELP is an international innovation project and its aim is to improve the quality of life of Parkinson’s patients who, while staying at home, are constantly monitored, thanks to the possibility of sending information on the patients’ clinical parameters to the doctor, in real time.

The project, which started three years ago and is now in the operational phase, uses an innovative capsule to gradually release the drug, inserted in a dental prosthesis. Compared to swallowing pills, as happens normally, gradual release has the advantage of maintaining a constant level of drug in the patient’s blood, and consumption is monitored and transmitted through a wireless device.

The system is based on a technology platform created by Telecom Italia which uses a smartphone for which the “HELP Mobile Gateway” application has been developed. The application starts automatically when the smartphone is turned on and communicates with the capsule used by the patient thanks to a special microSD card, and manages the transmission and receipt of the messages. The data is sent to the HELP service platform through the Telecom Italia mobile network.

The measurements sent to the service platform by the intraoral capsule can be accessed through the HELP Web Portal by any terminal connected to the Internet (PC, tablet, smartphone). Authorised medical personnel, with the appropriate access credentials, can access the portal to monitor drug consumption and, if necessary, vary the doses communicating with the patient.

The initiative confirms Telecom Italia’s commitment to disseminate innovative technological solutions to support organisations and citizens, so as to make a significant contribution to the development of the national economic system.

The HELP trial will be repeated in Israel and Spain, where the other partners in the project are based: Telefonica, Politecnico di Catalogna, Neusta, HSG-IMIT, PehMed, S. Antonio Abat Hospital and Nevet/Maccabi Group.

Palermo, 25 September  2012