Apple teams up with Eli Lilly to investigate how iPhone and Apple Watch can detect signs of dementia

Apple has been continuing its efforts to establish itself in the healthcare platform.

Image: Apple

Apple has been continuing its efforts to establish itself in the healthcare platform by adding health monitoring features to its iPhone and smartwatch. Now, the company has teamed up with Eli Lilly to see if data from Apple devices can help identify early signs of dementia. The results of the feasibility study showed that sensors from consumer-grade devices like iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads and Beddit sleep monitors can spot mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease.

Related German Researchers Develop Sensor-Packed Wristband to Improve Lives of Dementia Patients

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen how data and insights derived from wearables and mobile consumer devices have enabled people living with health conditions, along with their clinicians, to better monitor their health,” Nikki Marinsek, data scientist at Evidation Health and the study’s first author, said in a statement. “We know that insights from smart devices and digital applications can lead to improved health outcomes but we don’t yet know how those resources can be used to identify and accelerate diagnoses. The results of the trial set the groundwork for future research that may be able to help identify people with neurodegenerative conditions earlier than ever before.”

Image: Freepik

For the study, the team recruited 113 participants, of whom 31 were suffering from dementia and other cognitive impairments. The control group of 82 participants were free from any type of cognitive ailments. All participants were provided an iPhone, Apple Watch and Beddit sleep tracker and were asked to refrain from treating symptoms with medication during the test phase.

The researchers used sensors in the iPhone to track steps taken, while data was pulled from apps that incorporate typing functions. The handset was also used to conduct a daily survey. Apple Watch tracked movement, heart rate, workout sessions, app usage, breathe sessions, hours standing and other metrics, while Beddit was employed to measure a user’s circadian rhythm.

The study found that people with symptoms of cognitive decline typed more slowly, typed less regularly and sent fewer text messages than healthy participants. They also have a greater reliance on support apps and are less inclined to fill out surveys. Still, the researchers said there are limitations to the study, which didn’t draw any long-term conclusions because more analysis is needed.

Related Wearable Tech Can Safely Detect Atrial Fibrillation, Says Apple Heart Study

There’s also the risk of presenting results to patients because of the increased anxiety it can cause. Plus, the authors write, there’s not much people can do to stem the decline.

The study will be discussed on Thursday at a conference in Alaska.

Sam Draper
August 12, 2019

Innovation of the Month

Do you want to discover more, visit the website
Visit Website

Other news

Sam Wearable Ultrasound Helps Accelerate Natural Healing In Injured Athletes

Sam wearable ultrasound by ZetrOZ Systems is a long-duration ultrasound technology that helps...

Huawei Partners Up with Gentle Monster to Release New Smartglasses

Huawei is launching new smartglasses in collaboration with Korean sunglasses brand Gentle Monster.

Fraunhofer FEP’s Microdisplays and Sensors Business Unit

Fraunhofer FEP’s microdisplays and sensors business unit has been integrated into Fraunhofer IPMS.

US Army Uses Modified HoloLens 2 for Real-Life Video Game

The U.S. Army recently showed off a new augmentation system.
Discover more