Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies uses IoT to improve diagnostics and care for Parkinson’s disease patients

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05 AUG 2014: Valley View, OH – Worldwide, more than six million people live with Parkinson’s disease (PD) today, and tens of thousands of new cases are reported each year. The disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the motor system, gait and balance, speech, sleep and cognition.

To help properly diagnose PD and monitor patients, experts have developed a ranking system to assess individuals’ motor and non-motor experiences during daily living. Making it easy to capture this information is important because symptoms can fluctuate during the day based on timing, activity and medication.

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies (GLNT) develops a line of bioinstrumentation products that includes physiological monitors and patient-centered diagnostic and therapy systems integrated with wireless, remote and web-based applications. These telemedicine solutions allow PD healthcare providers and researchers to monitor patient conditions throughout the day using remote sensing applications.

Clinicians use the real-time data collected by IoT-enabled devices to help optimize their patients’ treatment and observe their response to treatment. In addition, pharmaceutical companies working on developing new therapies for PD use the information gathered through GLNT devices to aggregate patient data from multiple locations around the world for clinical studies.

“For Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies, the Internet of Things is about all the different parameters that we want to measure from a patient in their home: the sensors, the video, the symptom severity; and pushing all this data to the cloud so clinicians can view reports,” says Joe Giuffrida, President and Principal Investigator at Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies.

The Internet of Things (IoT) also helps Parkinson’s patients get affordable access to quality care. For someone who doesn’t live close to a movement disorder specialist or can’t visit one because of limited mobility or socioeconomic factors, being able to relay relevant information through telemedicine can have a significant impact on the quality of their care and treatment.

GLNT first entered the Parkinson’s market as a hardware platform provider, however the company is rapidly evolving into a complete service provider. “We realized that we needed to capture the entire experience and provide that to a clinician,” explains Giuffrida.

He credits Cisco Jasper with helping his company add the services dimension to its portfolio: “The Control Center platform has enabled Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies to become more of a service provider for our clients around the globe because it provides customizable solutions that fit their needs.”

Expanding globally with Control Center

GLNT has been working with Cisco Jasper since 2012. After a successful telemedicine platform launch in the US, the company began looking at expanding into Europe.

“We were trying to manage different providers, distinctive solutions for telemedicine that quickly became very cumbersome. The Cisco Jasper platform has enabled our company to expand our telemedicine solutions around the world, while still delivering custom solutions for each client,” concludes Giuffrida.

One of the challenges GLNT encountered in different locations was around connectivity. “Our IT team was trying to diagnose device connectivity issues in remote areas in Europe,” explains Mike Addante, IT Manager at Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies. “We’re trying to collect sensor data and patient video, and our devices kept hopping from tower to tower even though they remained in one location. Control Center helped us check on the status of devices in the field, and we could do it with just a couple mouse clicks.”

Addante recalls that before Cisco Jasper, getting to the root of a device problem would take many phone calls. “Life was a lot more difficult,” he indicates, “but with Control Center, we’re able to view, through a single pane, anything we need to know, including device status or deployment information – in just a few minutes.”

In addition to using the Cisco Jasper platform for device activation and troubleshooting, GLNT relies on Control Center automation rules to help avoid overages for devices operating on a variety of different plans.

“Control Center is very easy to use and it seamlessly integrates into our business process,” concludes Addante. “The Cisco Jasper team has helped us streamline our efforts and efficiently manage all of our devices. Cisco Jasper empowers us to be productive and self-reliant. And in our company, that’s pretty important.”

About Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies is committed to pioneering innovative biomedical technologies to serve research, education, and medical communities, improving access to medical technology for diverse populations, and positively impacting quality of life for people around the world.

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