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Wearable devices offer the potential to track motor symptoms in neurological disorders. Kinematic data used together with machine learning algorithms can accurately identify people living with movement disorders and the severity of their motor symptoms. In this study we aimed to establish whether a combination of wearable sensor data and machine learning algorithms with automatic feature selection can estimate the clinical rating scale and whether it is possible to monitor the motor symptom progression longitudinally, for people with Parkinson's Disease. Seventy-four patients visited the lab seven times at 3-month intervals. Their walking (2-minutes) and postural sway (30-seconds,eyes-closed) were recorded using six Inertial Measurement Unit sensors. Simple linear regression and Random Forest algorithms were utilised together with different routines of automatic feature selection or factorisation, resulting in seven different machine learning algorithms to estimate the clinical rating scale (Movement Disorder Society- Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III; MDS-UPDRS-III). Twenty-nine features were found to significantly progress with time at group level. The Random Forest model revealed the most accurate estimation of the MDS-UPDRS-III among the seven models. The model estimations detected a statistically significant progression of the motor symptoms within 15 months when compared to the first visit, whereas the MDS-UPDRS-III did not capture any change. Wearable sensors and machine learning can track the motor symptom progression in people with PD better than the conventionally used clinical rating scales. The methods described in this study can be utilised complimentary to the clinical rating scales to improve the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy.

Original publication




Journal article


Npj parkinsons dis

Publication Date