Mobile app identifies Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders

Have you ever thought about being able to make a diagnosis without leaving home? Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, United States, have developed a cell phone application that uses the selfie camera to detect neurological problems such as Alzheimer.

This app, still in development, uses the technology present in some newer cell phones, which have cameras capable of performing facial recognition. Through the device that detects infrared, along with the selfie camera, the application is able to photograph and measure the users’ pupils.

Experimental app uses front camera to detect neurological problemsFonte:  Shutterstock

Pupil measurement is already an important diagnostic factor for neurological disorders, as well as being part of scales such as Glasgow, which observes pupil reactivity to check for neurological damage, and the level of consciousness of patients in a coma or who have suffered head trauma. .

Currently, specific exams for the early diagnosis of neurological problems are complex and difficult to access for a large part of the population, but the development of this app provides an opportunity for early diagnosis of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with greater practicality.

In addition to access, researchers are also concerned with intuitiveness of use, as well as accessibility for the most diverse users. The first tests involved the participation of elderly people, who contributed by giving feedback on how simple and intuitive it was to use, and for the next steps, the researchers want to include people with mild cognitive impairment to attest to the usability.

The experiments showed that the app was successful in verifying pupillary changes, reaching parameters close to the high standard diagnostic tests used today. With these promising results, the researchers hope that this new technology will make it simpler to detect neurological disorders, providing opportunities for early treatment, better quality of life, and also the democratization of access to this type of exam.

ARTICLE Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3502493