While most recent attention has been directed to drugs and devices to treat diagnosed cases of Alzheimer’s disease, such as Aduhelm cramped by the Biogen controversy, Altoida, for example, has been fixed. much earlier in the chronology of disease progression.
Altoida’s technology uses artificial intelligence to analyze the results of cognitive tests to determine if a case of mild cognitive impairment will increase in Alzheimer’s in a year.
Diagnosing the condition that, even before symptoms begin to appear, could help doctors begin treating at-risk patients immediately, delaying the onset or decreasing the severity of the neurodegenerative disease.
The FDA, which is clearly excited about this prospect, has given its advanced designation to the Altoida predictive system. The breakthrough label will remove some obstacles from the company’s regulatory pathway, increasing its chances of reaching the market sooner, as long as it proves successful in ongoing clinical trials.
“This designation recognizes the strong clinical need to accurately and reliably predict conversion to Alzheimer’s disease before irreversible damage can occur. The Altoida device could allow the predictive diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders at the population level, which in turn it can allow preventive and therapeutic intervention in the early stages to delay the onset and improve clinical outcomes, ”said Ioannis Tarnanas, Ph.D., scientific director of Altoida.
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The system is the product of more than 20 years of cognitive research, Tarnanas said. They include a list of neurological tests for users 55 and older and AI software to analyze the results of these tests.
The evaluation part of the system takes ten minutes to complete and can be accessed from a user’s smartphone or tablet. Focusing on measuring 11 specific areas of the brain, research has suggested they are related to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Augmented reality tests are designed to feel like video games. In one, users are asked to hide three virtual items around the room where they are and move them at random. Another task that users learn the tools and actions needed to simulate a fire evacuation and the third main activity makes them simultaneously locate virtual tools in their environment while playing a dynamic sound intermittently.
Once the tests are completed, Altaida’s AI evaluates the results to score the user’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s over the next year. It produces a complete cognitive report based on errors and hand and gait movements, eye tracking and pupil dilation, voice parameters and more.
Studies published over the past year have shown that the Altoida program has a prognostic accuracy of 94%, while offering approximately 91% sensitivity and 82% specificity in predicting dementia progression. This makes it approximately 2.6 times more sensitive than traditional tests for Alzheimer’s, in addition to being much more efficient due to its ten-minute duration.
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If approved by the FDA, the Altaida device would be the first authorized diagnostic tool to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s before symptoms arise, but there are many other technology developers in the queue.
Last month, Boston-based Linus Health raised $ 55 million to continue building its own early diagnostic software, which offers a digital version of the traditional clock drawing test, as well as a set of tools to control the progression of a patient’s cognitive impairment. with the pass of time.
And in late 2020, IBM and Pfizer published a study of their own digital diagnosis, which uses an artificial intelligence model to predict the development of Alzheimer’s using just a basic language test. According to the study, the model was able to accurately identify which healthy people would end up developing dementia approximately 74% of the time.