PATTERN EXPERT | Projects
The following pages provide an insight into some of the projects PATTERN EXPERT is currently working on or was involved with in the past. Please browse the tabs below for further information:
EU - FP 7: DIPAR - Diagnosing Parkinson's Disease by neuromuscular function evaluation
- Funding period: 01.12.2010 - 30.09.2014
- Participant organisations: 7
- Project funding: 1.400.000 GBP
- EU-Project: CORDIS
The main objective of the EU-funded research project was the development of a device for early diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease (PD) that is also capable of distinguishing between Parkinson’s and other motor-neurological impairments. Seven partners from Germany, the United Kingdom, Finland, the Netherlands and Spain took part in this collaborative pan-european project that was funded by the EU with 1.400.000 GBP over 46 months.
PD is a chronic incurable neuro-degenerative disease, which predominantly affects people over age 60. Since early detection improves patient outcomes research on this topic is a matter of increasing urgency. PD is currently treated with symptom-relieving therapy and administration of symptom-alleviating drugs, which neither reverses nor halts the diseases progression. Current diagnosis systems need to be enhanced in order to achieve improvements in patients quality of life and to reduce costs for diagnosis and medicine significantly.
Handwriting analysis is commonly used to diagnose tremor diseases: Patients write several character strings (for example "elelelel") or curves and shapes like spirals or circles. Within the research project the characteristic symptoms of PD bradykinesia, rigidity and tremor are analyzed based on these samples in order to develop a new functional biomarker to complement molecular biological and other diagnoses. A set of mobile devices consisting of a sensor-pen, a tablet and custom-built software is used to gather multivariate data. Based on the analysis of this data using self-learning algorithms PATTERN EXPERT develops an intelligend Decision Support System to complement the diagnosis software.
The following images illustrate a standard procedure in handwriting analysis: Figure A shows the reference (a circle) while Figure B represents its continuous reproduction by a patient suffering from tremor:
This procedure provides a fast and precise way of diagnosis, allowing differentiation between PD and other tremor diseases. The effectiveness of the patent-registered analysis tool is going to be validated in several pre-clinical studies. Another milestone is the development of a secure framework for data exchange between hospitals and health centres to allow data gathering in support of further research.
Within the research project PATTERN EXPERT was able to build on its experiences in Pattern Recognition and Multivariate Data-Analysis to obtain valid classification results and developed a powerful and user-friendly Decision Support System.
Dr. Rutger Zietsma of Manus Neurodynamica Ltd. is responsible for project coordination.
- Fraunhofer-Institut (IPA and IPMS), Germany
- Hispafuentes, Spain
- Inotec FEG mbH, Germany
- Manus Neurodynamica Ltd, United Kingdom
- University Medical Centre Groningen, Netherlands
- PATTERN EXPERT, Germany
- VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Department for ITC for health and wellbeing, Finland