At a glance
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has one of the highest economic burdens
It costs nearly USD 612 billion per year—USD 355 billion in direct costs and USD 257 billion in indirect costs in the US alone. Over 16 million people provide unpaid care for family members affected by AD and other types of dementia. The costs are further increasing in low-income nations. Hence, reducing this cost burden is an important problem to solve.
This paper discusses a platform approach, one that leverages digital health technologies, to manage the burden of AD.
The evolving market of digital health technologies
As per a market study, the therapeutic segment for the global digital biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases is 20.63%
By 2025, payers are expected to emerge as the largest end-user segment in the global digital biomarkers market. The growth rate for this segment is expected to be 44.04%, during the forecast period―2019 to 2025. This demonstrates a large market potential for digital health technologies in the segment.
Possible non-pharmacological interventions can be managed well using digital technologies, which positively impact the patients, thereby reducing disease burden.
Managing AD with digital biomarkers
Digital biomarkers are verifiable data on disease manifestations that are measured using digital technologies
These can be used for two key purposes:
We envisage that both these applications will coexist. The first use case will enable effective screening and the second one will enable effective management. For example, a navigation mobile application can ascertain if a patient has lost his or her way by tracking their movement patterns and guiding them home. Another application can be a face recognition system that maps the face to a name or a relationship. This can be done using a smart glass that understands when the patient cannot recognize a known face.