The sensors provide a wealth of data about the progression her disease-data that would allow physicians to make better informed decisions about treatments, including adjustments to her medications.

So how does one analyze some 25 million measurements generated by these sensors for each patient over a two-day period? And then present the results in ways that are intelligible to a physician?

If you tell a physician you have to look at two gigabytes of data to figure out what’s going on with your patient, you don’t have a chance,” Sharma says.

Two days before their appointment, patients would drop by their neighborhood pharmacy, pick up a pack of five adhesive patches with embedded electronic sensors, and place them on their skin, allowing them to provide far more accurate and comprehensive measurements than are possible in a doctor’s office.

Sharma and Dorsey say, next generation sensors now being developed by MC10which are so unobtrusive that they liken them to temporary tattoos-will transmit the data wirelessly to a patient’s smart phone, then on to a secure database for analysis.

Dorsey believes, the combination of skin sensors, machine learning, and smartphones will enable researchers to conduct clinical trialsIn shorter periods of time, with smaller numbers of participants, giving us more objective assessments about whether drugs or devices are beneficial.”

That’s part of the obligation she feels as a Parkinson’s patient, to be an ambassador and advocate.