SEP 15, 2018 10:39 PM PDT

Easy Dementia-Detecting System

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Image via Alzheimer News Today

Diagnosing dementia has been made via cognitive function tests such as Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and medical imaging systems at hospitals. However, as the aging population increases so is the need for easy-to-use dementia detection tests. This is especially important since previous research studies have shown that diagnoses made by using neuropsychological questions lowered the performance in detecting dementia.

Now, a group of researchers from Osaka University and Nara Institute of Science and Technology have demonstrated the possibility of detecting dementia from conversations in human-agent interaction by utilizing algorithms for detecting signs of dementia at its early stages. Such method has been recognized as machine-learning: a machine that adapts to characteristics of sounds of elderly people who answered easy questions using avatars on a computer.

Image via Huffpost

More specifically, the researchers created a dementia detection system using interactive computer avatars. They developed a model for machine learning that is based on features of speech, language, and faces derived from recorded dialogues with elderly participants. By using the machine learning method, a computer can differentiate between individuals with dementia from healthy participants by a rate of 90 percent in 6 questions (2-3 minutes per question). Combing characteristics of dementia retrieved from recorded data based on speech, language, and image features-- the research study found that dementia could be distinguished with high accuracy (about 92% accurate). The researchers were thus able to enable a computer to teach itself how to detect dementia.

Senior author Takashi Kudo says, "If this technology is further developed, it will become possible to know whether or not an elderly individual is in the early stages of dementia through conversation with computer avatars at home on a daily basis. It will encourage them to seek medical help, leading to early diagnosis."

Source: Osaka University, Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 25, 2019
Clinical & Molecular DX
NOV 25, 2019
eRapid: molecular diagnostic power in the palm of your hand
We've heard lofty biotech promises in the news of being able to diagnose diseases from a single drop of blood. Yet, diagnostic procedures for the maj...
DEC 09, 2019
Neuroscience
DEC 09, 2019
Russian Cows Use VR Headsets to Increase Milk Production
Harsh weather conditions, particularly those found during winter months, are known to lead to a decrease in milk production among cows. To tackle this, Rus...
JAN 15, 2020
Microbiology
JAN 15, 2020
Scientists Engineer a New Kind of Life Form
Usig cells harvested from frogs, researchers created tiny robots....
JAN 27, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
JAN 27, 2020
Finding Cancer-Promoting Genes Using Machine Learning
Machine learning algorithms are increasingly being applied to the vast amount of genetic data that has been generated over the past decade....
FEB 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 16, 2020
ISS Poised to Receive Fresh Supplies by Tuesday
Life on the International Space Station isn’t quite as convenient as it is for the rest of us here on Earth. With no convenient restaurants or conven...
FEB 06, 2020
Technology
FEB 06, 2020
3D Skin Printer Promotes Healing
Researchers at the University of Toronto Engineering, Sunnybrook developed a new handheld 3D printer that can deposit sheets of skin to cover large burn wo...
Loading Comments...