Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent ailments of the 21st century. However, studies suggest that millions of Alzheimer’s cases remain undetected due to the inefficiency of the invasive diagnosis as well as the expensive procedures that accompany the traditional methods.

Commonly discussed as a disease that affects the elderly, Alzheimer’s can appear in people of any gender and age. With that in mind, it is necessary to find an effective solution to reducing costs and preventing Alzheimer’s from progressing in undetected cases.

Traditional Methods Proven to Be Ineffective for Detecting a Solid Percentage of Alzheimer’s Cases

One of the most discussed topics is the fact that if you were to diagnose Alzheimer’s using traditional methods, it would take a lot of time and money. According to certain studies, this results in more than 50% of Americans not being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s on time or at all. Thus, the conventional procedures seem to be unable to prevent the disease or provide timely treatment. 

The main problem? The fact that the related costs are pretty high. In 2021, the average cost of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis was $5000 which is a sum that is unaffordable for a huge percentage of US citizens. Hence, it is safe to say that people who experience early symptoms such as mild dementia don’t address their doctor due to the related costs. 

The money spent on Alzheimer-related procedures in 2022 is set at $321 billion. With that in mind, we recognize that there is a lot of room for improvement by introducing non-invasive diagnoses that are more affordable.

The second relevant problem is time efficiency. In most cases, the traditional procedures do not detect Alzheimer’s before it’s too late to prevent more severe outcomes. The fact that the sole diagnosis procedure takes 5 hours, and that potential patients have to wait to get their results for up to a few weeks suggests that the traditional methods are fairly outdated. Consequently, non-invasive testing seems to be a cost-efficient alternative that can be performed remotely, providing accurate results in much less time.

The Advantages of Non-Invasive Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease

First, and foremost, we want to address the money that can be saved by implementing non-invasive diagnoses such as Cognes. The main advantage is that potential patients pay $10,000 on average, compared to going through the standard procedures. In addition to that, technology-relevant surveys suggest that non-invasive testing is supported by over 90% of elders who are eager to be tested through innovative and time-efficient methods. 

As of now, more than 1 million people are waiting to be tested with the non-invasive procedure as part of research that proves what is the most efficient diagnosis. Confirming that non-invasive testing such as Cognes isn’t based on pure speculation is a FINGER study (2019) suggesting that mild cognitive impairment can be reduced by up to 30% if Alzheimer’s is detected on time using a non-invasive procedure, followed by preventive measures. 

Not only that but a Livingston study (2020) suggests that more than 40% of dementia can be prevented with this method. With that in mind, the non-invasive diagnosis seems to make the job easier for doctors while addressing and preventing more severe cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Basics of Non-Invasive Testing

While there are a variety of innovative, non-invasive procedures, the most popular ones are self-administered. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the need for remote screening. Hence, there are smartphone apps that come with comprehensive AI and that can detect Alzheimer’s disease within minutes. The idea behind smartphone apps such as Cognes is to combine the power of cognitive assessment with computer vision.

Thus, the app will scan and detect the facial and cerebral features of the tested patient. It will use the acquired results along with the answers to the relevant questions (motor functions, coordination, and memory) to detect Alzheimer’s disease. The technology behind it is pretty impressive and is similar to MRI testing, except it uses computer vision to identify the narrowing of gyri or wider sulci (both symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease).

What Is Cognes All About?

Now that we have addressed the problem, which is that the traditional methods are imperfect, pricey, and time-inefficient, it is necessary to suggest a solution. As of today, Cognes stands as the most successful smartphone app for diagnostics. The way it works is that it analyzes facial features (which point to a change in brain structure) and works through the cognitive assessment answers. 

One of the attractive points is that the physical developments of dementia are noticeable through computer vision, which wasn’t possible until a few years ago. Similar to the technology used by MRI, the camera of your smartphone would scan your facial features for neurodegenerative indicators and then use the AI engine to analyze the data. According to a study performed in 2020, ADix was accurate with more than 1300 patients who were a part of pilot tests. 

If you are wondering how the smartphone app detects Alzheimer’s disease with a simple camera scan, there are a few parts. First and foremost, it tracks cerebral blood flow, which can be identified by computer vision and is directly related to Alzheimer’s disease. The second focal point is specific facial expressions which were proved to be indicators in Fei’s (2019) and Kameyama’s (2020) studies. 

Last but certainly not least is the hereditary factor. The AI engine looks for facial features that are related to the APOE4 gene. It is necessary to know that symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can start appearing up to 15 years before the progression of dementia and cognitive impairment. 

Wrap Up

Given the fact that the traditional methods cannot detect Alzheimer’s with 100% accuracy and cost-efficiency, alternatives such as Cognes stand as a great solution. This non-invasive smartphone app is based on a sophisticated AI engine, detecting relevant facial features, and analyzing cognitive assessment answers to scan patients for Alzheimer’s disease and contribute to the prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia.

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