As the American population ages, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia increases. The hunt is on for causes, cures, and ways to stave off the disease or slow its progression. People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s live anywhere from three to 20 years after diagnosis, depending on many factors including the person’s age at the time the person is diagnosed, according to WebMD. With early detection, physicians often can slow the disease progression. We’ve written about Cedars-Sinai’s work with eye scans and Winterlight Labs’ voice scanning technology, both aiming to detect early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based MyndYou announced a new program in conjunction with Genesis Rehab Services, a Pennsylvania rehabilitation and respiratory therapy services provider. Funded by a grant from the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD Foundation), the study will use artificial intelligence to identify and track cognitive changes in older adults. The MyndYou app, once installed on a person’s smartphone, passively collects voice, activity, driving, and sleep data. MyndCare’s analytic tools assess the data to generate personalized care “maps” that are sent to the person’s care team. The maps include cognitive trends and anomalies to help the providers understand their clients’ cognitive status. Occupational therapists combine weekly phone calls with clients and with the MyndYou assessments to determine required and appropriate follow up services and care.
It’s certainly foreseeable that passive cognitive monitoring working in conjunction with supervising algorithms could someday order services and interventions without human oversight. The transition from human healthcare professional involvement to fully automated AI-driven programs that observe, gather, analyze, and prescribe won’t arrive anytime soon. The final switch, should it ever occur, will be based on factors other than technological capability. For now, the added insights from continuous monitoring and assessments can help human caregivers with a valuable tool for detecting early cognitive decline.