Smart healthcare in neurology
Department of Neurology, NEIGRIHMS, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
|Date of Submission||29-May-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||24-Jun-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||28-Aug-2020|
Dr. Masaraf Hussain
Department of Neurology, NEIGRIHMS, Shillong - 793 018, Meghalaya
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Hussain M. Smart healthcare in neurology. Adv Biomed Res 2020;9:39
In 2016, the World Economic Forum declared digital technology as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Although digital technology has brought about a revolution in other industries, it has not impacted healthcare to the same degree. However, this is now beginning to change.
| Digital Technology in Neurological Diseases|| |
Data capture and analysis
The human neurological system is a complex biological system. Diagnosing human neurological ailments is a monumental task. They have to gather information from various sources. Amalgamating all the information, in a time-pressured, chaotic, clinical scenario, can be very difficult for a clinician. However, data capture and analysis from all sources can be improved by utilizing artificial intelligence. This will lead to diagnostic accuracy and save a huge amount of work.
New smartphone apps have been developed to diagnose genetic neurological diseases. The Neural Impairment Test Suite app created by researchers at the Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania provides its users, with a series of tests to check the presence of symptoms, which if detected prompts the user for further investigations and professional advice. Hereditary neurological disorders can be detected early by this technology.
Virtual reality can identify early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease more accurately than clinical cognitive tests. Results published in the journal Brain has supported the above findings.
With long-term neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy, the opportunities to use technologies are numerous. Parkinson's KinetiGraph app can track the gait and movement of people with Parkinson's through a wrist device. Recording their movement, the data can be examined by the clinician to see the progress of their condition and monitor response to treatment.
The EpSMon app helps people with epilepsy to monitor their health and keep track of their level of risk from seizures.
Assistive technologies can help patients with dementia. Devices such as motion sensors can prompt them to lock a door. Smartphone apps can help them to locate items and medications easily.
Communication aids help children and adults with communication difficulties.
Digital cognitive biomarkers offer the opportunity to introduce precision medicine in the field of neurology and psychiatry.
Digital biomarkers have several advantages over conventional markers. First, they are unobtrusive, requiring the normal use of a smartphone. Second, they are ecological as the smartphone data are recorded in a natural environment. Third, they are continuous in the assessment as they provide daily data of the variations of cognitive function.
Recent years has shown a large investment toward implementing technologies in drug development process. Otsuka's Abilify MyCite digital pill (aripiprazole tablets with sensor) represents the first US Food and Drug Administration-approved software-based therapy for schizophrenia. It involves the use of a Bluetooth sensor, which when the pill is ingested releases a signal, picked up by a patch on the patient's ribcage, which transmits a signal to a smartphone app. This way, the dosing and adherence to medication can be monitored.
| Conclusion|| |
It is just a beginning for smart healthcare. Issues of high cost, adopting unknown technology, monitoring, ethical issues, and patient privacy concerns will bring about many challenges. Smart healthcare has a long way to go, requiring substantial amount of work, to cause a real and lasting change.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Howett D, Castegnaro A, Krzywicka K, Hagman J, Marchment D, Henson R, et al
. Differentiation of mild cognitive impairment using an entorhinal cortex-based test of virtual reality navigation. Brain 2019;142:1751-66.
Dagum P. Digital biomarkers of cognitive function. NPJ Digit Med 2018;1:10.