Health and Healthcare Systems

Your iPhone could be used to detect dementia

The gold colored version of the new iPhone 5S is seen after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES  - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS TELECOMS)   - TB3E99A1J4PBE

A new study tested 113 participants over the age of 60 for dementia symptoms. Image: REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS TELECOMS) - TB3E99A1J4PBE

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Drugmaker Eli Lilly has said early results from a study suggest that Apple Inc devices, including the iPhone, in combination with digital apps could differentiate people with mild Alzheimer’s disease dementia and those without symptoms.

The study, tested in 113 participants over the age of 60, was conducted by Apple along with Eli Lilly and Evidation Health.

The Apple devices were used along with the Beddit sleep monitoring device and digital apps in the study.

The researchers looked at device usage data and app history of the study participants over 12 weeks.

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People with symptoms tended to have slower typing than health volunteers, and received fewer text messages in total.

The participants were also asked to answer two one-question surveys daily as well as perform simple activities every two weeks, such as dragging one shape to the other and tapping a circle as fast as possible on an app.

Image: Gates Notes

The study also aimed to differentiate people with mild cognitive impairment, the pre-dementia stage of Alzheimer’s disease.

The early results were presented at a conference in Alaska on Thursday.

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