Parkinson’s disease symptoms can now be tracked via Apple Watch apps

Since the Apple Watch was unveiled in 2014, it has been trumpeted not only as a high tech fashion accessory, but also as a way for people to track their own health and fitness. It has evolved as a popular cardio tool for such uses as heart rate monitoring, recording your ECG, and measuring the oxygen saturation of your blood.

But now, after nearly a decade of development, the Apple Watch is being leveraged on an entirely new health frontier: Parkinson’s disease, the degenerative brain disorder that affects more than a half million Americans.

While there is no cure for Parkinson’s and treatment options can be daunting, people with the disease can now turn to technology spawned by the Apple Watch to take an active role in their care much as continuous glucose monitors have for people with diabetes. Over the past year, the Food and Drug Administration has cleared three Apple Watch apps from independent developers to track symptoms associated with Parkinson’s that can help inform treatment decisions for people and their doctors.

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