Researchers at the University of Newcastle in the U.K. recently conducted a pilot study showing that low-cost wearable devices could improve clinical trial efficiency and encourage dementia research investment.
As part of the study, the researchers equipped people with mild Alzheimer's disease with body-worn sensors to be used at home and in a clinic. The sensors assessed the users' walking patterns as a cost-effective way to detect Alzheimer's earlier and track the progression of the disease.
The volunteers wore a small sensor on their lower backs, and completed walking tasks in a laboratory. The participants then went home and wore the sensor for seven days, carrying out everyday tasks.
The researchers found clinically appropriate diagnostic measures can be obtained for walking behavior and pattern, as well as gait characteristics related to pace, timing, variability, and asymmetry of walking.
From Newcastle University (UK)
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