East Netherlands

ParkinsonNet: a better and cheaper treatment

Healthy Brain – To improve the life of people with Parkinson across the world. That is the goal of more than 3,000 health care professionals who have joined ParkinsonNet.

“With innovative technology and specialist treatments we are making the patients themselves experts.”

Parkinson’s disease is a complex condition. People are having more and more problems with multiple daily activities like walking, dressing, speaking or eating.

“These are generic complaints, which require specialist treatment and cooperation between several different care disciplines. To achieve this, care networks are the future”, explains Bas Bloem, Professor neurological movement disorders of the Radboud UMC and co-founder of ParkinsonNet.

Together with colleague Marten Munneke he launched ParkinsonNet in 2004 from Nijmegen. Now, the network has expanded to 3,000 health care professionals in 68 regions in the Netherlands.

Innovative care concept

ParkinsonNet participates in international studies and, together with experts, develops guidelines, treatment methods and education. This results in a better and cheaper treatment for patients. The treatment costs per annum are 20 to 30 million Euros lower. “This is because we share knowledge with patients, for example through Parkinson TV and online communities. The patient’s competence is paying off. For example: our physiotherapists are trained to provide a special treatment that improves walking and balance, thus decreasing the fall risk of patients. The method has an enormous effect: 50% less hip fractures since 2004. The beauty of it is that patients can use the method at home, and therefore do not need to visit the physiotherapist for a weekly treatment.

ParkinsonNet as export product

ParkinsonNet’s results have not gone unnoticed abroad. “Networks have also been launched in Germany, California and Norway. Soon, also in Luxembourg and Sweden, and I could go on like that. ParkinsonNet has become a Dutch export product! We love to share our formula, which is why we are now working on a practical guide of a sort, for starting networks for other chronical diseases. Thus, we inspire similar initiatives to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s or other diseases.”

More information

  • ParkinsonNet was launched in 2004 as a network of twelve physiotherapists in the Nijmegen region. Now, it has expanded to a
    • national network of more than 3,000 care professionals
    • in 68 regions.
  • As many as twelve different disciplines are connected, among which neurologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and nurses.
  • The effect of this specialist treatment:
    • better care
    • 50% less hip fractures
    • and a cost decrease of 20 to 30 million Euros per year.
  • Patients can find specialist care professionals in their neighbourhood by using the Parkinson Care searcher.

Together with ParkinsonNet over 650 Dutch patients participate in an extensive international study on the symptoms and course of the disease in the coming two years.


Source: The Economic Board


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