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Apple works with Eli Lilly to see if iPhone, Apple Watch can detect dementia



Health is one of the biggest segments of Apple's business strategy these days, with both the iPhone and Apple Watch leading this charge.

Fall detection and irregular heartbeat are just part of the story of Apple moving on. According to a report from CNBC Apple is partnering with a pharmaceutical company called Eli Lilly to determine whether or not iPhone and / or Apple Watch can detect dementia. Evidation is a health start-up that also works with the larger companies to determine the results.

A research paper has detailed the process up to this point, entitled "Developing Measures of Cognitive Impairment in the Real World from Consumer-Degree Multimodal Sensor Streams". The process is partially performed by activity data and sensor data, both of which can be tracked and cataloged by the iPhone and Apple Watch.

The ubiquitous and remarkable technological advancement of portable consumer devices and mobile computing platforms (smart phone, smart watch, tablet), together with the many available sensor modalities, has enabled continuous monitoring of patients and their daily activities. Such rich, longitudinal information can be extracted for physiological and behavioral signatures of cognitive failure and provides new avenues for discovering MCI in a timely and cost-effective manner.

In this work, we present a platform for remote and discrete monitoring of symptoms. related to cognitive failure using multiple smart devices for consumer class. We demonstrate how the platform has been used to collect a total of 16 TB of data during the Lilly Exploratory Digital Assessment Study, a 12-week feasibility study that monitored 31 people with cognitive impairment and 82 without cognitive impairment under free living conditions. We describe how careful data unit, time adjustment and imputation techniques can handle missing data rates that are inherent in real-world environments, and finally show the use of these different data by separating symptoms from healthy controls based on features calculated solely from device data. ] Early staged tests have already been done through 12 weeks. There was a control group of 82 healthy individuals and 31 individuals affected by various stages of cognitive decline, including dementia.

Early detection of dementia has been a continuous challenge across the globe. In the United States alone, there are more than six million people living with dementia.

Together with the iPhone and Apple Watch, the study also included data tracked by Beddit sleep monitor.

With this research, we looked at how everyday data, such as those captured by iPhones, Apple Watches and Beddit sleep monitors, can be effective in distinguishing individuals with mild cognitive failure and early Alzheimer's disease, and those without symptoms, "Evidation founder Christine Lemke told CNBC

This may be a landmark study, and not just for Apple. But of course, if Apple could somehow include features in the iPhone and Apple Watch that could help detect early signs of dementia for the general public, this would be monumental for Apple.


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