Sometimes all you need for a solid diagnosis is a drawing tablet. And when it comes to identifying some diseases, a spiral to trace.
Researchers from Melbourne, Australia have recently come up with an extremely simple method for determining if someone has Parkinson’s or not. It involves tracing a spiral outlined on a drawing tablet.
Although it may seem too simple to believe, the system is to be very effective.
How does it work? The tablet is hooked up to special software that takes measurements while you draw. It calculates the pressure of your pen and the speed at which you’re tracing the spiral, and in doing so, it can identify those who have Parkinson’s Disease.
The system can also tell experts how severe a patient’s case is, which is a key difference when comparing the spiral test to other current evaluations for the disease.
“Our aim was to develop an affordable and automated electronic system for early-stage diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, which could be easily used by a community doctor or nursing staff,” said Poonam Zham, study researcher from RMIT University to BBC.com.
The beauty of the spiral system is that it will aid experts in selecting the right patients to participate in clinical trials, something that’s essential when it comes to discovering new and more effective treatments for the disease.
Statistics say that more than 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the U.S each year.
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