How a coffee machine can help dementia

Could this tell doctors when their patients are in the early stages of dementia?

Imagine if your percolator could monitor your mental health. Or your pill box could report back to your doctor if you’re forgetting your medications.

That’s the goal in mind for neuroscientist Anind Dey.

Dey spoke at Wired’s Living By The Numbers Health Conference about his idea to implant sensors in household objects belonging to seniors. It’s  difficult for home care specialists and doctors to check in with all of their patients between visits, and some seniors live alone and far away from family members. So a simple sensor in an object that’s used every day can spot irregularities in activity, which can be a sign of mental decline.

It’s also a constant, impartial tool. Even if a patient has a home care specialist checking on them more often, they might mis-construe the reasoning behind a change in activity, or miss something when they’re not around.

Dey wants to work with doctors further to find better ways to collect, organize and analyse the data to make it easier for doctors to spot patients who may be in the early stages of dementia.

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