A team of neuroscientists from Bar-Ilan University has been named as winners of the The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and Sage Bionetworks BEAT-PD (Biomarker and Endpoint Assessment to Track Parkinson’s Disease) DREAM Challenge, along with three other teams. The Bar-Ilan team was the only one located outside of the United States. The DREAM challenge aims to propel research toward at-home monitoring of Parkinson's progression. To this end, the latest challenge focused on predicting a patient's subjective assessment of their symptoms using kinematic (movement) data collected from smartwatches and smartphones during normal every-day behavior. The symptoms including tremors, dyskinesia (abnormal or impairment of voluntary movement), or the on-off phenomenon, which refers to a switch between mobility and immobility in patients treated with levodopa, which occurs when the dose begins to wear off. A previous challenge had already proved that symptom severity and disease status could be predicted through data collected when patients were set specific tasks while being monitored by a doctor. The BEAT-PD challenge built upon that finding by assessing whether disease status could be determined simply through passive sensor data from consumer electronics, collected during daily life, rather than through pre-set tasks. Three of the teams, including the Bar-Ilan team, applied signal processing methods to smartwatch and smartphone sensor data before using the results in machine learning (AI) models which allowed for patient-specific characteristics.The Bar-Ilan team, named “HaProzdor”, consisted of Ayala Matzner, Yuval El-Hanany and Prof. Izhar Bar-Gad from the Neural Interfaces Lab at Bar-Ilan's Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidiciplinary Brain Research Center. Led by Bar-Gad, the lab specializes in two-way brain-computer interactions in order to better understand various neural disorders and develop treatments. Current research is focused on problems with motor function and behavior brought about by Parkinson's disease, Tourette's Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The other three winning teams were from Harvard Medical School, the University of Rochester Medical Center, and the University of Michigan. “We congratulate all the winners. The Foundation has supported research into sensors and other digital tools for Parkinson’s for many years,” says Mark Frasier, PhD, Senior Vice President, Research Programs at MJFF. “The BEAT-PD projects are unlocking the potential of data collected by digital devices to help people with Parkinson’s, their physicians, and researchers. Now more than ever, we understand the critical importance of remote monitoring for the safe and effective delivery of healthcare and the progress of clinical research.”Forty-three teams competed in the challenge, with the winners sharing a $25,000 prize. The winning teams were also invited to collaborate to improve upon their models, as well as to test them against clinician-validated symptom severity ratings and co-author a paper on the findings.