Researchers will soon start investigating whether smartwatch data can shed more light on the rare neurological condition chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). By looking at information such as physical activity, heart rate and sleep, they hope to gain insights that will help patients better manage the condition.
CIDP causes weakness and reduced sensation in the arms and legs. It occurs because the immune system mistakenly attacks myelin, an insulating covering that wraps around the long sections of nerve cells.
Researchers at Heinrich-Heine University, Duesseldorf, Germany, plan to start the 60-person study in January. They’ll chart multiple data points, including grip strength and quality of life measures, to learn more about the impact of infused medicine and ideal treatment intervals. Smartwatches also could be a tool to help understand a patient’s disease progression in real time and better chart the course of CIDP, providing more granular data than periodic doctor visits.
“Together with conventional measurements, this ‘digital phenotyping’ might lead to a more complete and continuous recording of deficits relevant to everyday life,” the researchers say.