Toronto, Ontario (March 23, 2023) – 100,000 + Canadians are living with Parkinson’s and most only see their doctor once or twice a year. This means that for every one hour of care, a person has 8,765 hours of self-management annually. But finding resources for this complex disease can be daunting. Digital health solutions have potential to support people in their self-management of Parkinson’s during the in-between moments around medical care.
In 2022, Parkinson Canada put out a call for research proposals to fund a digital health app, that will empower people with Parkinson’s to optimize their health. This funding opportunity provided a research team with up to $300 000 over three years. Proposals were reviewed by a group of scientific experts, as well as people with Parkinson’s from our Parkinson Advisory Council.
The funding from this competition was awarded to Dr. Tiago Mestre, a Movement Disorder Specialist, and his team at The Ottawa Hospital who are developing a digital health tool called eCARE-PD. The eCARE-PD app aims to support Parkinson’s self-care as well as connecting people to community supports. App users can monitor symptoms and aspects of daily activity, like exercise and sleep, to help them set healthcare goals and recognize trends in their disease. The app also includes educational content on different topics related to Parkinson’s.
“eCARE-PD provides a sense of empowerment that can help [a person] know more about their Parkinson’s and what to expect and better deal with it”, says Mestre.
Parkinson Canada is thrilled to support the development of the eCARE-PD app and to work alongside the research team at The Ottawa Hospital to share this tool with Canadians with Parkinson’s when it becomes available in the future.
“Contributing funding and supporting the broader roll-out of eCARE-PD in the community aligns with Parkinson Canada’s aims to impact more people throughout their journey with Parkinson’s, and ensure people have access to the right technology to support their efforts to live well with Parkinson’s,” says Angelica Asis, Vice President Research.
About Parkinson’s and Parkinson Canada
Currently, more than 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinson’s, and that number is expected to increase in the coming years.
Parkinson’s is a lifelong, incurable brain disease that occurs when brain cells involved in mobility and coordination are dying. As a progressive disease, symptoms slowly worsen, and new ones develop over time. While Parkinson’s is typically known for its movement-related symptoms like tremors and difficulty with mobility, non-movement symptoms such as anxiety and depression, sleep issues, thinking problems, and sometimes even dementia can also occur. In total, there are more than 35 Parkinson’s symptoms, and they can vary from one person to the next making everyone’s experience with the disease unique. Not all symptoms of Parkinson’s are outwardly visible, and the severity of symptoms can change from day to day and even by the hour.
At Parkinson Canada, people with Parkinson’s are at the centre of everything we do. We empower the Parkinson’s community through tailored programs, innovative research and raising the voice of Canadians impacted by Parkinson’s through our advocacy efforts. A national registered charity, Parkinson Canada fulfils its mission through the generosity of donors.