The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) announced the launch of the first free smart phone application to improve diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The Parkinson’s Toolkit is a mobile-enhanced website with a companion smart phone app available for download at toolkit.parkinson.org.
“The National Parkinson Foundation is dedicated to providing clinicians with tools to improve the way they treat Parkinson’s, and there is no better way to do this than a point-of-care mobile app,” said Joyce Oberdorf, NPF’s President and CEO. “The cost of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment in Parkinson’s, in human suffering alone, is incalculable. We created the Parkinson’s Toolkit to provide a quick and easy reference tool for clinicians to help bridge the knowledge gap where they need it—in the examining room.”
With guidance from an interdisciplinary steering committee chaired by Janis Miyasaki, MD, MEd, FRCPC, of the Edmond J. Safra Parkinson Program at Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, NPF built the Parkinson’s Toolkit to help clinicians as they prepare for an appointment with a patient with PD and to provide a reference tool that can be accessed quickly, even during an appointment. It highlights issues that are often overlooked, such as constipation, sleep, and the need for annual screening for melanoma; provides criteria for determining whether or not a patient requires a consultation with a specialist, as well as useful Parkinson’s reference tools and patient resources.
“The Parkinson’s Toolkit includes more than 100 topics that incorporate evolving best practices in Parkinson’s care,” said Dr. Miyasaki. “With the tap of a finger, clinicians can access first line meds and dosing and better understand complex aspects of care like impulse control disorders as they navigate their daily practice.” Dr. Miyasaki led an interdisciplinary team including neurologists, primary care physicians, nurses and patients, to develop the app.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder associated with a loss of dopamine-generating cells in the brain. The disease results in a complex array of symptoms, but is primarily associated with progressive loss of motor control. Disease management is complicated by two important issues: accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. NPF estimates that fifty percent of Parkinson’s patients in the United States are managed by primary care physicians (PCPs); however, most PCPs see fewer than 1-2 Parkinson’s patients per year and thus have little experience with diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
The Parkinson’s Toolkit is available for download at toolkit.parkinson.org and is also available in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. On the website, clinicians can also opt in to receive email updates from NPF on a regular basis.
NPF gratefully acknowledges financial support for the Parkinson’s Toolkit from Teva Pharmaceuticals, Ipsen and UCB.
About Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s with an estimated one million people with the disease in the United States and four to six million worldwide. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease and 50-60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States.
About the National Parkinson Foundation
The National Parkinson Foundation supports a strong network of 43 Centers of Excellence dedicated to excellence in research and providing comprehensive, interdisciplinary care to more than 50,000 Parkinson’s patients and their families worldwide. Founded in 1957, the National Parkinson Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson’s disease through research, education, and outreach. Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $155 million in care, research and support services.