Detecting Parkinson’s with a Phone Call

Smartphones can do just about anything these days.  I will not be at all surprised when they develop a smartphone to clean your house, and I will also be the first one in line to buy it.  One of the new amazing technologies that is being developed by Max Little, Ph.D. at MIT.

The Parkinson’s Voice Initiative is developing a voice based diagnostic to aid in the detection of Parkinson’s Disease.  Dr. Little is also a TEDGlobal 2012 fellow and you can find his TED Talk on the subject on this page.

You can also find a great interview with Dr. Little by the people at MedGadget on their website.

According to MedGadget at least 5% of Americans over 80 have Parkinson’s in some form.  Obviously the first step in helping these people is detection.  This new technology has a detection accuracy of 98.6 overall accuracy.  That is pretty incredible when you consider the relatively simple concept.

Like so many of these technologies, the smartphone can bring these benefits to people who never could have used them before.  A patient wouldn’t even have to visit a lab to make the recordings, they could simply call in on their phone.

Technology like this can’t help but make me wonder what other diseases we could be detecting and curing that we haven’t even thought of yet.  What diseases do you think could be aided by smartphones?