The pen that can diagnose Parkinson's
A Unique Technology
The Manus sensor-pen is a unique technology which analyses a range of parameters derived from simple writing and drawing tasks. Writing and drawing on a specially-adapted tablet computer using our ground-breaking sensor-pen allows the system to record readings related to 3D pen motion and finger, hand and limb activity. The readings from a variety of sensors are combined and analysed within the system, using diagnostic algorithms. Results can be viewed by the test administrator on the diagnostic platform itself, on a separate console or remotely via our secure medical communication platform.
This non-invasive, low-cost tool has the potential to revolutionise Parkinson's diagnosis as the sensor-pen has the ability to distinguish between Parkinson's and other impairments which may display similar symptoms (such as Essential Tremor), and to diagnose at an earlier stage than is currently possible. What's more, the sensor-pen does not require specialist training to administer so it could become part of routine clinic or hospital checks at little expense.
Benefits of the Sensor-pen:
Assessment is quantified and objective
It is non-invasive (and no need for radioactive markers)
It can identify early changes in the nervous system before (obvious) clinical symptoms can be observed
The test is quick and easy to complete
The test is easy to administer by non-specialists
In the video below, Professor and clinician, Richard Walker talks about the benefits of the Sensor-pen in diagnosis:
The Diagnostic Test
The test is simple to take and to administer. The patient is asked to conduct a series of drawing exercises across the surface of the interactive writing surface.
Once complete, our specialist software analyses the results and provides a number of performance scores. From these scores a clinician is able to indicate the likelihood of Parkinson's or other neuromotor disorders, and to recommend further testing or treatment.
Clinical trials are underway and it is estimated that the final product will be market-ready within five years.
In addition, there are a number of other applications for the technology which we anticipate will support existing Parkinson's patients:
A diagnostic aid, used in conjunction with existing methods.
A low-cost alternative to DaTSCAN to help distinguish between Parkinson's Disease and other impairments with similar symptoms, such as Essential Tremor.
A triage aid, helping to identify patients that should be further assessed more urgently.
Assessment of groups 'at risk' according to predictors such as family history, loss of smell, depression, constipation, sleep complaints etc
Monitoring of patients to assess the effectiveness of drugs and other treatments.
Pharmaceutical companies are also interested in the technology for use in drug development, and academics for use in research in neurophysiology.
It is expected that the technology will be in use in many of the above applications by 2016.
As part of the DiPAR project clinical trials have been carried out at University Medical Centre Groningen. These have confirmed the Sensor-pen as an accurate objective measure of some of the typical symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, such as bradykinesia (slowed motion), tremor and micrographia (smaller handwriting).
Trials will now take place at North Tyneside Hospital in the North East of England to test the accuracy levels of the Sensor-pen against DaTScans, the current 'gold standard' in Parkinson's diagnosis.
These trials are overseen by Professor and clinician, Richard Walker and funded by the UK government's Technology Strategy Board along with matched funding provided by private investment. The DiPAR project team are involved with these trials.
Beyond this, Manus Neurodynamica hopes to secure a £500,000 investment to extend the team, fund further business development and further longitudinal trials.