iTUG app can help detect early signs of dementia
A phone app can now help detect the early signs of dementia. Yes, you heard that right! Researchers in Japan have developed iTUG, an iPhone app, that can detect possible dementia by measuring the person's walking speed.
iTUG is a free app that measures the user's walking speed and time, and many other factors. The app uses the smartphone's internal sensors to measure the user's movements backwards and forwards, up and down, and left to right as they walk. It gives a score out of 100 to indicate the level of disability.
This will help healthcare workers find out the time it takes for the person to stand, walk three metres, do a U-turn and return to their seat. A score lower than 50 points suggests the possibility of light walking disability.
The app will help caregivers make appropriate risk evaluations and administer treatment early. The app can also help recognise patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus. This is a type of dementia that is considered curable, by identifying walking difficulties early.
There are hopes that the iTUG app will allow for accurate observation of rehabilitation effectiveness. The app is currently only available for the iPhone, but the developers are looking to create versions for other smartphones.