Sensory Pen for Detecting Parkinson’s Disease
A means of diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease is being developed by MANUS Neurodynamica using sensory pen technology. It is called the DiPAR project. The system, combining sensor and computing technology, requires the patient to perform a set of writing tasks, drawing activities or a combination of both. The system records all movements of the pen as well as other parameters such as drawing pressure, plus acceleration and deceleration of movement, to identify patterns that are indicative of specific kinds of neuromotor disorder. The sensory pen can be used by non-specialists with minimal training so that large numbers of people would be able to be screened.
The system’s software records key features regarding the movement of the pen, relating it to the motion of the limb, particularly the role of the hand and fingers in coordinating overall pen motion. The recordings enable the operator to assess akinesia, bradykinesia, tremor, rigidity and other signs of motor deterioration that cannot be easily detected by other means. The software takes inputs from a variety of sensors in the pen and converts them, using proprietary algorithms, into outcome percentages that represent the likelihood of the presence of Parkinson's Disease or other neuromotor disorders. The method can be viewed in this brief video video of sensory pen technology.