By adding health tracking features to its smartphone iPhone, Apple has continued its efforts to position itself on the healthcare platform.
Now Eli Lilly is working together to see if data from Apple devices will help detect early dementia signs.
The results of the feasibility study showed that sensors from consumer devices such as iPhones, Apple Watch, iPads or Beddit sleep tracking could detect smooth cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease.
In the last couple of years we have witnessed how wearable and mobile customer data and insights have allowed health tracking for people living in medical conditions, along with their clinical staff, “said Nikki Marinsek, Evidation Health data scientist, first author of the report.
“We know that knowledge from intelligent devices and digital technologies can lead to improved health outcomes, but we still don’t know how to detect and improve diagnosis using those tools.
The findings of the study set the stage for future studies so that people with neurodegenerative disorders will be detected sooner than ever.
The team recruited 113 participants, 31 of whom had dementia and other cognitive disabilities.
The 82 participants’ control group was free from cognitive disorders of any kind. An iPhone, Apple Watch and Beddit sleep trackers were given to all participants, and the treatment of drug symptoms during testing was requested.
The scientists used iPhone sensors to follow the steps that were taken while data were taken out of apps that include typing features.
The phone was also used for a routine review. Apple Watch monitored motion, heart rate and exercises, the device use, breathing sessions, standing hours and other measures, while Beddit was used to test the circadian rhythm of the user.
The study showed that people with cognitive impairment symptoms typed less often, taped more slowly and sent fewer text messages than healthy people.
They also rely more on support apps and are less likely to complete surveys. However, the researchers noted that the study had constraints and did not draw any long-term results because more work was needed.