Alzheimer’s disease is a very common disease among the elderly, and is the most common form of dementia. While there is still no cure to the disease, there are ways to diagnose it earlier to be better prepared for when it starts getting worse. In fact, according to a team of German researchers, fitness trackers could play a key role in diagnosing Alzheimer’s early on. Using fitness trackers could even prove to be a better method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s than any other current method.
To come to this conclusion, researchers placed accelerometers on a number of Alzheimer’s patients’ ankles in order to track their movement. They also placed these 3-axis accelerometers on the patients healthy caretakers. Upon receiving the data, in a blind analysis, where the researchers were not told which data belonged to who, they were able to discern exactly which data was from an Alheimer’s patient, and which was not. This method was accurate 91% of the time, making it a better form of diagnosis than the current method.
This method of diagnosis could provide doctors with a way to better monitor the progression of Alzheimer’s and create a better understanding of the disease. The fact that the method is also so inexpensive could also change the way Alzheimer’s patients are cared for.