ParkService: the project supporting People with Parkinson Disease at home

News about ParkService

ParkService is a market validation project for a prototype telematics service supporting People with Parkinson Disease (PD) living at home. It is based on an existing prototype service, also called ParkService.

People with PD quickly become excluded both due to the general effects of disability and age and also because of disabling symptoms peculiar to PD. In particular, people with PD suffer from periods of limited mobility or paralysis which have a severe effect on their physical and emotional health, leading to social exclusion. Through ParkService, people with PD are provided with Indigo, a simple to use, wearable aid. By targeting specific effects of PD, Indigo acts as a mobility aid, using tailored visual stimulation to dramatically increase mobility in suitable users.

In this use Indigo builds upon an earlier IST project, PARREHA, and can achieve startling results allowing people to walk where before they were paralysed. Moreover ParkService extends support to sources of exclusion not specific to PD by providing wireless home connectivity to specialised carers and also off-line services such as reminders to the user of their personal drug regime.

ParkService and Indigo have been implemented using widely available technology as far as possible. Indigo consists of a PDA and lightweight monitor clipped on to glasses. The PDA wirelessly connects to a home PC that uses a low to medium bandwidth Internet connection to interact with a clinician.

In May 2003 the PARREHA consortium formed ParkAid, a start-up company whose sole aim is to exploit Indigo and build a supporting service around it (ParkService). This project brings together people with PD, clinicians, ParkAid and former members of Parreha to pilot ParkService in Italy, Germany, UK and Greece.

The objective is to use the feedback from pilots

  1. to validate the prototype service with all user groups,
  2. to build a sound plan for business development and
  3. to refine and localise the prototype service across many member states.

ParkService is receiving funding from eTen