Prof. Lynn Rochester

TITLE:  Digital Health Technology – leveraging real-world insights in mobility

ABSTRACT: Mobility is important – the last year has brought this into sharp focus.  Mobility is not only a target for intervention, subtle features of mobility (such as how fast someone walks and how variable their steps are) provide us with a window into the brain and body and an indicator of health.  As a clinician, mobility has been my focus. In particular, how do we keep people with neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s – mobile and safe?  This propelled me towards the scientific study of gait – a key feature of mobility.  The last 10 years have seen a revolution in digital technology (such as wearables and mobile devices) advancing the study of mobility. Implementing technology in the real-world allows further insights into health previously unobtainable and a ‘living-lab’ approach to study and treat mobility loss.  Continuous monitoring captures the challenges of mobility that play out in real-time at the intersection between personal, contextual and environmental demands and bring a personalized focus to healthcare.  However, large scale implementation of real-world mobility assessment and treatment, although promising, remains tantalizingly out of reach. This talk will focus on experiences and insights using digital technology to quantify mobility in Parkinson’s disease, explore challenges to extract meaningful insights from continuous real-world mobility data, and highlight future possibilities. Throughout I will draw on my own experience using digital technology and leverage insights from the work of the Mobilise-D consortium (https://www.mobilise-d.eu/), a large international effort to translate real-world mobility assessment to research and healthcare.

BIO: Lynn Rochester is Professor of Human Movement Science at Newcastle University. She is the Specialty Cluster Lead for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network providing strategic oversight of research delivery in ageing, neurodegenerative disease, dementia, genetics and neurological disorders and, oversees the flagship NIHR-INCLUDE Project (https://sites.google.com/nihr.ac.uk/include/home). Lynn’s research interests focus on understanding and mitigating mobility loss in ageing and neurodegenerative disease and, conversely, what mobility can tell us about brain health. To deliver these interests she leads the Brain and Movement Research Group (BAM) (http://bam-ncl.co.uk/) – comprised of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, clinical and data scientists and clinical engineers. In recognition of her research leadership she holds an NIHR Senior Investigators award. Lynn has a keen interest in digital healthcare and the role of digital technology in management of neurodegenerative disease. She is Co-ordinator of the IMI consortium Mobilise-D (https://www.mobilise-d.eu/), aiming to develop and validate digital mobility biomarkers, and,  co-investigator in the IMI consortium IDEA-Fast (https://idea-fast.eu/) which is developing real-world digital measures for fatigue and sleep disturbance. She led the collaboration between these two consortia to form the Digital Health Catalyst (https://digitalhealthcatalyst.org/) – aiming to foster the next generation of digital health researchers and professionals. She has published >260 papers, many in the field of Digital Health.

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