Body-Worn Sensors for Remote Monitoring of Parkinson's Disease Motor Symptoms: Vision, State of the Art, and Challenges Ahead

Silvia Del Din, Cameron Kirk, Alison J. Yarnall, Lynn Rochester, Jeffrey M. Hausdorff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The increasing prevalence of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and related mobility issues places a serious burden on healthcare systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the urgent need for better tools to manage chronic conditions remotely, as regular access to clinics may be problematic. Digital health technology in the form of remote monitoring with body-worn sensors offers significant opportunities for transforming research and revolutionizing the clinical management of PD. Significant efforts are being invested in the development and validation of digital outcomes to support diagnosis and track motor and mobility impairments 'off-line'. Imagine being able to remotely assess your patient, understand how well they are functioning, evaluate the impact of any recent medication/intervention, and identify the need for urgent follow-up before overt, irreparable change takes place? This could offer new pragmatic solutions for personalized care and clinical research. So the question remains: how close are we to achieving this? Here, we describe the state-of-the-art based on representative papers published between 2017 and 2020. We focus on remote (i.e., real-world, daily-living) monitoring of PD using body-worn sensors (e.g., accelerometers, inertial measurement units) for assessing motor symptoms and their complications. Despite the tremendous potential, existing challenges exist (e.g., validity, regulatory) that are preventing the widespread clinical adoption of body-worn sensors as a digital outcome. We propose a roadmap with clear recommendations for addressing these challenges and future directions to bring us closer to the implementation and widespread adoption of this important way of improving the clinical care, evaluation, and monitoring of PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S35-S47
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Issue numbers1
StatePublished - 2021


FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme820820
Innovative Medicines Initiative


    • Parkinson's disease
    • accelerometer
    • motor symptoms
    • real-world
    • remote monitoring
    • wearables


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