Imagine a world without mobileapps. A world where we wouldn’t be able to book our favorite restaurant at theclick of a button or find out the hottest deals on the internet. Scary isn’tit? Apps have been around for quite sometime now but they’ve just recently enteredthe medical field and are causing quite a stir. People are using theseapplications to track health, measure calories and sat fit.
While apps such as FitBitsand mHealth are being used by the usual consumer, physicians prefer using Epocratesand PEPID to look up drug related information and track patient information. Thoughthe medical app market is still fresh, researchers and neuroscientists areexploring new ways to diagnosing diseases like Alzheimer’s. Early detection and diagnosis isa big benefit for patients with a genetic history of Alzheimer’s because ithelps manage the illness and aids in stopping some serious and life-threateningsymptoms. It is the 6thleading cause of death in the United States and roughly 5.
4million Americans are unaware that they have the disease. This is because Alzheimer’sis hardest to diagnose in its early stage or when MCI (mild cognitive impairment)is first experienced. Fortunately, apps are now beingdeveloped that can detect signs of dementia and pinpoint the patient or physicianin the right direction. While some of these apps are focused on questions, othersrely on gaming techniques that measure spatial navigation ability and testother cognitive functions.
So, let’s jump right in and findout what’s being done in the mobile app world to detect Alzheimer’s early. Apps that help in early detection of Alzheimer’s BrainTest This app, developed by Dr. DouglasScharre is a type of self-administered Gerocongnitive Examination (SAGE) that assessescognitive functionality and MCI or early dementia. This app uses the same cognitivescreening method that is used in the Dr.’s office but can be taken by patients privately.It spots the early changes associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s and is anonymouslyscored at the app’s core-lab.
Once the patient’s scores are calculated, theyare presented with a video that explains the numbers and what it could mean forthe patient. Because this app is not adiagnostic test but an assessment, it can be printed and taken to the Dr. sodetails about the symptoms and implications and be discussed. Early detection iskey for patients with Alzheimer’s because symptoms may not just be reversible buttreatable too.
Sea Hero Quest According to a research,Sea Hero Quest, developed by Deutsche Telekom is one of the most promising appsthat help in early diagnosis of dementia. At a glance, this is a simple game whereyou navigate a ship through rough waters and look for lost pieces of a journal,but the scientists behind the app are actually measuring and recording your spatialnavigation. The mobile app measures andtracks the spatial navigation abilities of players of all ages and compiles thisdata to detect issues most common in Alzheimer’s and MCI. Hugo Spiers, one ofthe neuroscientist’s behind the app says that the game and its data serve as aglobal chart of human spatial navigation and will help in creating tools for earlydetection of dementia.