Software to help Parkinson's patients with social inclusion


Following research conducted by the University of Mons, a new application for tablets and smartphones has been created to help people with Parkinson's disease communicate more easily.

This new digital solution was developed at the clinical orthopedagogy department of the University of Mons to improve social inclusion for people with speech disabilities due to Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's is the second most common degenerative disease in the world after Alzheimer's and affects 50,000 people in Belgium. In addition to motor symptoms (slowness, rigidity and tremors at rest), nearly 25% of patients also suffer from cognitive problems and 70% report communication difficulties, such as speech disorders and hypophonia (weak voice) linked to fatigue, which leads to forgotten words or confused speech.

Practically speaking, this free app is now available on tablets and smartphones (without the need for a SIM card and so without a telephone subscription). It makes it easier for Parkinson's patients to communicate with their relatives, caregivers, neighbours and carers by verbalising pre-recorded text.  It can therefore be used on a daily basis or in emergency situations such as during trips outside and thus allow patients to express their feelings and needs. 

In the future, this app could also benefit people with other pathologies.