Pfizer Taps IBM for Research Collaboration to Transform Parkinson's Disease Care

IBMPfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a first-of-its-kind research collaboration to develop innovative remote monitoring solutions aimed at transforming how clinicians deliver care to patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. The experimental approach will rely on a system of sensors, mobile devices, and machine learning to provide real-time, around-the-clock disease symptom information to clinicians and researchers. The ultimate goal is to obtain a better understanding of a patient's disease progression and medication response to help inform treatment decisions and clinical trial design, while also speeding the development of new therapeutic options.

Parkinson's disease in particular requires ongoing adjustment to medication depending on the progression of the disease and response of the patient. The collaboration seeks to create a holistic view of a patient's well-being by seeking to accurately measure a variety of health indicators, including motor function, dyskinesia, cognition, sleep and daily activities such as grooming, dressing and eating. Insights from these data could help clinicians understand the effect of a patient's medication as the disease progresses, enabling them to help optimize the patient's treatment regimen as needed. Data generated through the system could also arm researchers with the insights and real-world evidence needed to help accelerate potential new and better therapies.

According to the World Health Organization, neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy impact almost one billion families around the world(1) and account for 12 percent of total deaths globally.(2) Many diseases of the brain, spine, and nerves are progressive conditions that get worse over time and can create uncontrolled movement, impair the ability to think, and cause other debilitating symptoms impacting the patient’s quality of life. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, and an estimated seven to 10 million people suffer from the disease globally.(3)

"We have an opportunity to potentially redefine how we think about patient outcomes and 24/7 monitoring, by combining Pfizer’s scientific, medical and regulatory expertise with IBM’s ability to integrate and interpret complex data in innovative ways," said Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., President of Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development. "The key to our success will be to deliver a reliable, scalable system of measurement and analysis that would help inform our clinical programs across important areas of unmet medical need, potentially accelerating the drug development and regulatory approval processes and helping us to get better therapies to patients, faster."

"With the proliferation of digital health information, one area that remains elusive is the collection of real-time physiological data to support disease management," said Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research. "We are testing ways to create a system that passively collects data with little to no burden on the patient, and to provide doctors and researchers with objective, real-time insights that we believe could fundamentally change the way patients are monitored and treated."

The two companies project that the system will move into initial clinical testing quickly. Pfizer and IBM will convene an external advisory board of patient groups, advocacy organizations, clinicians, and neuroscientists for guidance on the use of technology, medical devices, data management, and research protocols, and to ensure the needs of patients guide the program.

IBM IoT in Healthcare
This project marks a significant milestone in IBM's work to advance Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in healthcare. Emory University Hospital is creating an instrumented ICU using IBM's streaming analytics technology to advance predictive medicine for critical patients in the ICU. The new system will enable clinicians to acquire, analyze and correlate medical data at a volume and velocity that was never before possible. Neonatal intensive care specialists at The University of Ontario Institute of Technology are relying on the same software to analyze more than 1,000 pieces of unique information per second flowing from sensors and equipment monitoring premature babies, helping caregivers spot the onset of sepsis infections up to 24 hours earlier. And, Medtronic is working with IBM Watson Health to create a cognitive app designed to analyze real-time data from Medtronic devices to help detect important patterns and trends for people with diabetes.

About Pfizer Inc.
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.

1. BrainFacts.org. Global Prevalence of Diseases and Disorders. 27 April 2012. Available at http://www.brainfacts.org/policymakers/global-prevalence-of-diseases-and-disorders Accessed on April 4, 2016
2. World Health Organization. Neurological disorders: Public Health Challenges. 2006. Chapter 2, page 35. Available at http://www.who.int/mental_health/neurology/chapter_2_neuro_disorders_public_h_challenges.pdf Accessed on April 4, 2016.
3. Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Statistics on Parkinson's. Available at www.pdf.org/en/parkinson_statistics Accessed on April 4, 2016

Most Popular Now

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS T…

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has deployed DXC Technology's (NYSE:DXC) cloud-based Clinical Aide mobile application, which both improves secure access to electronic patient medical records and increases patient and...

Central Hospital in Finland Automates Sy…

This November Central Ostrobothnia Central Hospital in Finland has started symptom tracking and remote monitoring of corona virus-infected patients with the Buddy Healthcare mobile application and clinical monitoring platform. The...

Ultrapotent COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate D…

An innovative nanoparticle vaccine candidate for the pandemic coronavirus produces virus-neutralizing antibodies in mice at levels ten-times greater than is seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19 infections. Designed...

Interactive virtual reality emerges as a…

Bristol scientists have demonstrated a new virtual reality [VR] technique which should help in developing drugs against the SARS-CoV-2 virus - and enable researchers to share models and collaborate in...

Softphone App to Save NHS up to £20 Mill…

GPs and patients are to benefit from a new softphone app that will eliminate almost all the "hidden cost" of calls for remote consultations and is forecast to save the...

More than 1,000 Exhibitors have Already …

16 - 19 November 2020, Düsseldorf, Germany. This year, the world's largest and leading medical trade fair, MEDICA, and the number one international event for the medical technology manufacturing supplier market...

DMEA Newcomer Award: The Search is on fo…

13 - 15 April 2021, Berlin, Germany. More efficient, digital and patient-friendly! Tomorrow's healthcare system promises great things. And to ensure this becomes reality a fresh impetus and creative ideas are...

App to Help NHS Prevent Deadly Hospital …

Compass app to help NHS trusts prevent hospital-acquired acute kidney injury and pneumonia - both of which cause harm to COVID-19 patients and can be fatal. Hospitals could alleviate pressure...

Leeds Deploys Imaging Tech for Advanced …

A multi-million pound initiative that is digitising, connecting and applying artificial intelligence to NHS pathology services in the North of England has taken an important step, after Leeds Teaching Hospitals...

Survey of COVID-19 Research Provides Fre…

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have explored all COVID-19 research published during the initial phase of the pandemic. The results, which were achieved by using a machine learning-based approach...

South Tees Signs Major Deal with Alcidio…

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has signed a major deal with smart health technology provider Alcidion. An entire range of new technology capabilities will alleviate pressure for busy NHS...