Dementia is a growing condition, overtaking heart disease, lung cancer and stroke as the leading cause of death in the UK, and Alzheimer's Research UK suggests there are over 209,000 new cases of dementia every year in the UK – roughly equivalent to a new case every three minutes. As life expectancy increases, so the likelihood of people developing dementia has risen – making it a pressing public health concern. Early detection can be difficult, too, as Dr Carol Routledge, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, explains. Clinical tools are currently not sensitive enough to diagnose early, and blood tests are "not sufficiently specific" to diagnose the diseases causing dementia. She also points out that PET (positron emission tomography) imaging – a type of brain scanning often used to diagnose dementia – can be prohibitively expensive, making it almost impossible to use as widely as needed.
The NHS has introduced a revolutionary new app to help diagnose Alzheimer's Disease. It takes only five minutes to complete and is more accurate than established pen-and-paper tests. The test is currently done on iPads at a general practice or hospital ward but it could soon be conducted at home on a smart phone – paving the way for the nation's first widespread screening programme for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia within the next few years. It is hoped it will identify people at high-risk of developing the disease up to 15 years before symptoms appear, so that steps can be taken to slow its progression. The test uses artificial intelligence to assess a person's brain function by showing them large numbers of black and white photographs and asking them to identify which ones contain an animal.
Slowly but surely, artificial intelligence is infiltrating almost every aspect of our lives. It is already busy in the background of many routine tasks, powering virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, recommendations from Amazon and Netflix, and underpinning billions of Google searches each day. But as the technology matures, AI's impact will become more profound, and nowhere is that more apparent than in healthcare. Healthcare's data-heavy nature makes it an ideal candidate for the application of AI across multiple disciplines, from diagnosis and pathology to drug discovery and epidemiology. At the same time, the sensitivity of medical data raises fundamental questions around privacy and security.
Sina Habibi, CEO of Cognetivity Neurosciences, spoke with INN about the company's partnership with DPUK and additional plans for 2019. At the recent Cantech Investment Conference, Sina Habibi, CEO of Cognetivity Neurosciences (CSE:CGN,OTCQB:CGNSF) spoke with the Investing News Network (INN) about the company's partnership with the Dementia Platform UK (DPUK) and additional plans for 2019. Habibi said the company will be putting more efforts into its artificial intelligence (AI) platform and collecting more data as it seeks to train its solutions to detect mental health disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As it currently stands, Cognetivity is using AI and machine learning to aid in the early detection of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. On that note, in addition to the DPUK partnership, Habibi spoke to INN about a health application the company has that could be launched by the end of 2019.
Diagnosing Alzheimer's disease (AD) is challenging, time consuming, and costly. Currently, there is no single test, or series of tests, that can determine with 100% certainty whether an individual has developed AD. In fact, AD cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death, when the brain can be closely examined for certain microscopic changes caused by the disease. When an individual reports to a doctor that he or she has experienced bouts of memory loss or decreased cognitive function, he or she may be assessed using a variety of cognitive and physical tests, some quite invasive, to determine whether he or she "probably" has AD. However, this diagnosis requires visible symptoms that may only show up when it is too late to start preventative measures.