sTUG: Smartphone Instrumentation of Timed-Up-and-Go, Balance and Stability Procedures

UAH-P-13004-Smartphone Instrumentation of Timed-Up-and-Go Balance and Stability Procedures

Docket: UAH-P-13004


As many as one million Americans live with Parkinson's disease. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected. The combined direct and indirect cost of Parkinson's, including treatment, Social Security payments, and lost income from inability to work, is estimated to be nearly $25 billion per year in the United States alone. Medication costs for an individual person average $2,500 a year. Therapeutic surgery can cost up to $100,000 per patient.

Timed-Up-and-Go (TUG) is a standard diagnostic test for assessment of mobility and balance of Parkinson's patients and elderly people. Researchers at UAH have developed a smartphone-based TUG diagnostic procedure used to assess severity of the condition of Parkinson's patients and elderly patients. The test procedure is fully automated and consists of a simple procedure that involves standing, walking for 3 meters, turning around, and sitting. The proposed approach utilizes the smartphone's built-in sensors or a single external sensor to automate the procedure. Internet connectivity of the smartphone allows automatic storage of results in the patient's medical record.

The automated, repeated tests can provide objective assessments of the short-term changes (e.g. effect of drugs) or long term monitoring of trends of balance and mobility. The system can provide expert help to physicians in quantifying the effects of different drugs. The procedure can also be performed repeatedly in the comfort of the patients' homes while providing results to physicians.


  • Automated test in physician's offices
  • Self-monitoring at home
  • Short-term and long-term assessment of user progress
  • Assessing balance and mobility
  • Efficacy of drug treatment


  • Easy to operate
  • Accurate
  • Affordable
  • Reliable


  • State of Development: Proof of concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Patented