Mayo Clinic launches a new Apple Watch based clinical study to help patients suffering from tremors

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Mayo Clinic, a top-ranked US hospital, has launched a new clinical trial/study to understand the impact of certain therapies on patients with tremors using movement and physiological data collected via the Apple Watch.

The new study, ‘A study of wearable device in essential tremor patients,’ is a Prospective Feasibility Study Evaluating the Use of Wearable Devices to Quantify Tolerance to Deep Brain Stimulation in Essential Tremor Patients.

Related reading:

About Mayo Clinic’s one study on tremors

The study will enroll 50 patients with the associated health condition ‘Essential Tremor.’

Along with the Apple Watch, the study leverages a proprietary app called BrainRISE.Apple Watch for Tremors

Patients with well-classified essential tremor, who are already receiving regular DBS therapy at Mayo Clinic for their movement disorder are eligible for this novel study.

Apple Watch will aid in providing wrist accelerometry data for the patients. This will inform the researchers if the therapies the patients are undergoing are useful in reducing their tremors.

Accelerometry data from the Apple Watch has already proven to be a lifesaver for many patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. 

Apple researchers developed the Movement Disorder API in 2021, which was validated in a study of 343 participants, including longitudinal tracking of 225 participants for up to six months, and used the clinical gold standard (MDS-UPDRS) as a reference.

Apple’s study showed that the Smartwatch-detected tremor and dyskinesia matched clinician-reported evaluations seen during in-clinic visits.

The smartwatch-based system could identify changes in symptoms resulting from better adherence to medication or deep brain stimulation treatment, as well as subclinical symptoms, suggesting a need for alternative treatment or medication titration.

Apple’s researchers developed the Motor Fluctuations Monitor for Parkinson’s Disease (MM4PD), an ambulatory monitoring system that used smartwatch inertial sensors to track fluctuations in resting tremor and dyskinesia continuously. Parky App for movement disorders

Companies such as Parky have leveraged The Movement Disorder API to provide critical help and support for patients with movement disorders.

The new Mayo Clinic study will help cement some of the observations that were inferred from Apple’s study and hopefully lead to new use cases to aid in improving patients’ lives who suffer from movement disorders.

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


  1. My husband had a DBS inserted in 2019. He had this done at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO. If you do not have enough participants, would you consider him? We live in Teutopolis, IL
    Mrs. Mickey Koester

    • HI Mickey,

      I hope your husband is doing well. Unfortunately, we only report on these studies. To learn more about joining this study, see Mayo Clinic’s Trial site.

      Look for this study “Wearable Devices to Quantify Tolerance to Deep Brain Stimulation in Essential Tremor Patients” and the principal investigator Bryan Klassen, MD. Search for the category of Essential Tremor.


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