Apple, Eli Lilly research whether devices can detect dementia signs (Healthcare Dive):
“Dementia, which affects roughly 47 million people across the globe, costs $1 trillion worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Early testing for the condition is sporadic and, when conducted, it’s often not sensitive enough to detect early stages of mental decline, creating an opportunity for tech companies like Apple to see whether they can turn a profit.
The “rich, longitudinal information” from wearable and mobile consumer devices can be “mined for physiological and behavioral signatures of cognitive impairment and provide new avenues for detecting [mild cognitive impairment] in a timely and cost-effective manner,” researchers wrote in the paper. The team included five authors from Apple, five from Eli Lilly and five from Evidation.
Data was collected from a slew of platforms including an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and a Beddit sleep monitoring device, then stored on a HIPAA-compliant Evidation platform. Researchers had access to the data through a secure network called a VPN before modeling … The initial results are promising, but researchers stressed they’re only a “starting point” for further studies on using the consumer gadgets to predict cognitive decline, which includes Alzheimer’s disease.”
Developing Measures of Cognitive Impairment in the Real World from Consumer-Grade Multimodal Sensor Streams (Proceedings of the 25th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining):
- Abstract: The ubiquity and remarkable technological progress of wearable consumer devices and mobile-computing platforms (smart phone, smart watch, tablet), along with the multitude of sensor modalities available, have enabled continuous monitoring of patients and their daily activities. Such rich, longitudinal information can be mined for physiological and behavioral signatures of cognitive impairment and provide new avenues for detecting MCI in a timely and cost-effective manner. In this work, we present a platform for remote and unobtrusive monitoring of symptoms related to cognitive impairment using several consumer-grade smart devices. We demonstrate how the platform has been used to collect a total of 16TB of data during the Lilly Exploratory Digital Assessment Study, a 12-week feasibility study which monitored 31 people with cognitive impairment and 82 without cognitive impairment in free living conditions. We describe how careful data unification, time-alignment, and imputation techniques can handle missing data rates inherent in real-world settings and ultimately show utility of these disparate data in differentiating symptomatics from healthy controls based on features computed purely from device data.
The Study in Context:
- The FDA creates new Digital Health unit to reimagine regulatory paths in the age of scalable, AI-enhanced innovation
- Five reasons the future of brain enhancement is digital, pervasive and (hopefully) bright
- Mindstrong Health identifies digital biomarkers of cognitive function using smartphone data
- Neurotechnology can improve our lives…if we first address these Privacy and Informed Consent issues