For the past 6 months I’ve been helping an independent developer who has been developing an application for touch screen smartphones that runs in the background to non intrusively help detect and monitor the development of tremor. The application is designed to just run in the background during normal use of the handset eg. calling, playing “brain games” etc. Unfortunately this has been a bit of an uphill battle and with his limited resources it’s still months away from a commercial proposition.
One early realisation was that the iPhone was useless because it can’t multitask and he’s finding issues with market adoption of other touchscreen devices eg. low volumes of Android HTC or Nokia N900. It will happen but market fragmentation means not until we’ve got more proper (eg. multitasking) smartphones with touchscreens.
So imagine my delight to find (Hattip to Bart – someone you should be following if you’re into mHealth and use twitter) that San Diego startup TouchDx has launched “TremorTracer” which is a range of iPhone assessment applications for use by clinicians:
Can you imagine going to a physician and her handing you her mobile phone and asking you to perform a few tremor assessments? …isn’t that the fix to the problem of “how do we get Physicians to endorse mHealth to patients?”
There is only one way I can see this technology moving… patients need it. Mobile Operators should be forming a line outside this companies HQ and asking for them to develop their tests into background apps that can run on their branded touchscreens so that patients can benefit from early detection and long term monitoring.
Here are some screen shots to whet your appetite.
The configurable timed “Tap Test”:
The “Archimedes Spiral” and “Writing” Tests which require patients to trace the shape:
The timed straight line tracing test (and configuration UI’s):