W Wing Yip and Brothers Foundation funds new technology for Parkinson’s patients
University Hospitals Birmingham Charity has received a generous grant of £17,500 from the W Wing Yip and Brothers Foundation to fund a range of cutting-edge devices that have the potential to change our understanding of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years, causing patients to experience involuntary shaking, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles. In turn, these symptoms can cause patients to experience problems with their balance, sleeping and memory, as well as depression and anxiety.
Thanks to the generosity of the W Wing Yip and Brothers Foundation, staff across University Hospitals Birmingham are now able to gain a greater insight into how Parkinson’s disease impacts their patients through the use of Parkinson’s KinetiGraph (PKG) reports.
The PKG system uses a data logger which is worn on the patient’s wrist, similar to a smart watch or fitness watch, for a period of ten days. The PKG report tracks the patient’s symptoms during the course of their everyday life, and at the end of the period the patient sends the report back to the clinicians.
The PKG System is worn on the wrist and gives objective scores of a patient's symptoms. Photo - Global Kinetics Corporation.
It is important for clinicians to be able to measure a patient’s symptoms, and the reports allow objective scores to be gathered around-the-clock, not just whilst the patient is in hospital, and measures the impact that a patient’s medicine has on their symptoms. The reports can also monitor patients’ sleep patterns.
The reports allow clinicians to assess whether the treatments that they are offering their patients have been effective, and allow them to monitor their patients remotely reducing the number of appointments and admissions.
The grant from the Foundation has enabled UHB Charity to purchase 160 PKG reports for patients across the Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals. Clinicians at UHB are confident that the devices will help to change our understanding of Parkinson’s disease, and help to improve patient welfare.
Hardi Hassan, Consultant in Geriatrics at Heartlands Hospital, treats patients with Parkinson’s disease. Hardi said: “Our thanks goes to the W Wing Yip and Brothers Foundation for their generous grant to fund the PKG reports. The reports will give us a huge amount of data and information about our patients, their symptoms, and the impact that their medication has on them.
“The reports allow our patients to live their lives as normal, allowing monitoring to take place without disrupting their movement. The devices also use light and vibration to remind patients to take their medicine during the period of the monitoring.
“Here in the West Midlands we have a large population of Parkinson’s patients, but until present there has been a lack of objective measurement of symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease management and this has led to some unnecessary inpatient admissions, outpatient appointments and the use of high-cost therapies.
“The devices are already making a significant impact on our patients, with the results showing that one patient, who thought that they might have Parkinson’s disease, in fact did not have the disease, allowing us to stop their medication following a period of counselling. For another patient, we were able to identify that they had uncontrolled symptoms due to poor response to oral therapy, and we were able to make a further referral based on the findings.”
“The PKG technology will help us to manage our patient’s more efficiently, and will objectively measure their symptoms from the comfort of their own homes. The Foundation has funded this project for the next three years, and we expect to obtain the evidence to show that the PKG technology makes a difference to our understanding of Parkinson’s disease.”
The W Wing Yip and Brothers Foundation was created in 1985 by Mr Wing Yip, Mr Git Ying Yap and Mr Lee Yap to help communities in Birmingham, Manchester and London, with the aims of promoting education, relieving poverty and sickness, as well as supporting other charitable causes.
Mr Kenny Yap, Chair of W Wing Yip and Brothers Foundation, said: “The Trustees and I are proud to support this pioneering initiative, knowing the burden that Parkinson’s disease places on patients and their families. Our hope is that the PKG device will benefit them as a result of the timely reporting that informs their clinical management. We are very grateful to Mike Hammond at UHB Charity and clinicians across the West Midlands for their hard work in bringing about this project.”
Mike Hammond, Chief Executive of UHB Charity, said: “Thank you to Kenny and the Trustees of W Wing Yip and Brothers Foundation for their generosity in funding this important project for the next three years. We are excited to see the results that come from the research and to hear about the difference that the reports make to our Parkinson’s patients across the West Midlands. Here at UHB Charity we are proud to support the exceptional work of clinicians across our Trust, and we are thankful for the generous donations and grants that we receive to make this possible.”