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The IPhone and Apple Watch could detect dementia early

Press Release

Apple and Eli Lilly have collaborated on a project that could help to prevent dementia which was presented at the 2019 Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD) in Alaska.

Today, tens of millions of people suffer from some form of dementia and it costs a whopping $1 trillion a year to health systems around the world. But what if dementia could actually be prevented, rather than just treated? That’s the aim behind this new partnership.

How dementia can be prevented

Researchers analyzed people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and as well as healthy people and people with ordinary mental deficiencies. Using an iPhone and an Apple Watch, which can pick up all kinds of data, the researchers were able to pick up a lot of information on how people lived including how they slept, how they ate and how active they were. By analyzing all of the data collected, it was possible to pick up some traits that are common with Alzheimer’s.

Ethical concerns

There is some criticism of this project that part of the motive from Apple is to collect more data of its users, and that comes at a time when all tech companies are feeling the pressure to respect their users’ privacy. Therefore, it is not at all certain that this kind of project will actually be brought to life.

Anabella Greene