ParkinsonNet – improving the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease worldwide

Over 7 million persons in the world have Parkinson’s disease, and these numbers will rise dramatically in the next decades.{Dorsey Bloem} Parkinson’s can be a very debilitating condition for persons affected by this disease. Personalized healthcare delivered by experts with Parkinson-specific expertise is essential to improve the daily life of these patients. For over a decade now, ParkinsonNet strives to offer patients and their families the best possible care. ParkinsonNet, a low-cost innovation to optimize the care for persons with Parkinson’s disease, was established by Prof. Bas Bloem and Dr. Marten Munneke in 2004. ParkinsonNet is now a nationwide infrastructure in The Netherlands, consisting of 70 regional and multidisciplinary networks of specifically trained allied healthcare professionals who deliver integrated care to persons with Parkinson’s disease. Over 3,200 trained healthcare professionals, from 19 different disciplines, are currently part of this network.

The mission of ParkinsonNet is to improve the lives of every person with Parkinson’s in the world, and to make sure that every person receives the best possible care. The three cornerstones of ParkinsonNet are: (a) expert patients (through education, such as our web-based ParkinsonTV program); (b) expert professionals (training and working according to evidence-based guidelines); and (c) expert teams (patients and professionals working effectively together). ParkinsonNet uses a number of innovative IT solutions to facilitate optimal collaboration between professionals and patients, and to provide transparency about the quality and costs of healthcare.{Bloem 2017}

A series of clinical trials, all published in top scientific journals,{Munneke 2010} {Sturkenboom 2014} {Ypinga 2017} have shown that our ParkinsonNet approach leads to a much better quality of care, to significantly fewer disease complications (including a considerable reduction in hip fractures, and fewer hospital admissions), and to markedly reduced costs for society (up to €30 million in cost savings annually). For that reason, the ParkinsonNet concept has been introduced as a model of a successful and scalable frugal innovation in several other countries, including the United States, Norway and Luxembourg. And there are many more countries with a concrete interest to also start a ParkinsonNet. Moreover, it is widely felt that the ParkinsonNet concept offers an attractive model to also reshape the care for patients with a wide range of other chronic and complex disorders. To achieve that, we are currently sharing our expertise with other interested networks. ParkinsonNet has received multiple national and international awards, including the Best Pearl Award (of The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, ZonMw) and the prestigious Value Based Health Care Award 2015 by the renowned Professor and health economist Michael J. Porter.


Bastiaan Bloem
Medical Director & Consultant Neurologist,
Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen


Bastiaan will be a keynote speaker at ICIC18 in May