Artificial intelligence platform for remote monitorization set to improve the lives of people with dementia

Somatix, a digital health company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI), has developed a technology based on a smart wristband that is currently being tested by Campo Neurológico Sénior (CNS) and Hospital CUF Tejo.

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that affects essential daily functions. People with dementia not only experience significant changes in personality and behavior but also find it progressively more challenging to carry out simple routine tasks. This cognitive decline increases the risk of developing additional health problems and accidents that can sometimes lead to hospitalization.

To improve the safety and well-being of dementia patients and reduce the burden on caregivers, Roche has partnered with innovation consultancy Beta-i, under the program “Building Tomorrow Together: Innovation in Dementia”. This initiative aims to promote the development of innovative solutions that can contribute to the advancement of dementia diagnosis and treatment.

As part of this program, Somatix has developed a remote monitoring platform for people with dementia. A smart wristband detects gestures and collects relevant information. Somatix’s proprietary machine learning algorithms can detect whether people with dementia are taking their medication, drinking enough water, or if they are in high-risk situations, such as wandering or falling. At the time of this study, no other technology in the world has the capacity of measuring fluid intake and medication compliance from a smartband alone.

With this solution, caregivers and health professionals can closely monitor people with dementia at any time and from anywhere. The information collected by the AI platform is available online and meets confidentiality and data protection requirements. Furthermore, people can regain some autonomy in their daily lives by recovering abilities that may have been affected by their disease.

Clinical studies conducted in the United States have already demonstrated the benefits of Somatix smart wristbands in reducing hospital readmissions, falls, and urinary tract infections in Alzheimer’s patients. Recognizing the potential of this technology to improve dementia care, Hospital CUF Tejo and Campus Neurológico Sénior (CNS) have partnered with Somatix to carry out further testing of the solution, including new algorithms that can provide additional insights using the AI platform and wristbands.

Somatix’s AI platform utilizes data from CNS patients to train algorithms that can detect and measure water intake, predict the risk of dehydration, and monitor medication intake. Later this year, Hospital CUF Tejo dementia patients will be involved in the study’s final phase to confirm the results obtained in the initial stage. Data from the first two phases of the study demonstrated approximately 84% accuracy in reporting the volume of fluid intake using the gestures from Somatix smartband, and approximately 80% accuracy in detecting missed doses of medication. The partnership with Portuguese health entities has been instrumental in improving the algorithm, particularly in the area of medication control. The platform not only reminds patients to take their pills but also allows caregivers and doctors to monitor compliance with the proposed clinical plan.

“Communication between clinical teams and patients often suffers a loss of information as it only happens during appointments. Therefore, developing an alternative that can bring us closer to users in their home environment is crucial. By obtaining more detailed and continuous information about a patient’s health, we can make more precise decisions and, consequently, act in a timely manner to prevent their clinical condition from worsening.”, explains Catarina Moreira, Director of Strategic Planning, Control and Innovation at CUF.

Although there are still challenges to overcome before the solution can be fully implemented, health professionals from Hospital CUF Tejo and CNS believe that the future will include remotely monitoring people with chronic diseases. One of the challenges is determining if patients can consistently use smart wristbands, especially those who may be more resistant to alternative treatments due to their condition. Also, caregivers who are not tech-savvy may require assistance to take advantage of the data provided by the AI platform.

Somatix’s platform “may become an important alternative to the institutionalization of people with dementia when their caregivers are unable to ensure adequate monitoring for their safety and health on a daily basis. This would allow patients to remain where they feel more comfortable and close to their families, promoting their balance and well-being”, adds Camila Nóbrega from CNS.

For Somatix, the implementation of the remote monitoring AI platform in the Portuguese healthcare system is a great opportunity: “The Portuguese culture of investment in education and technological progress is highly favorable to the adoption of advanced technologies, such as ours, which can have a positive impact on the health and well-being of its citizens.” says Charles Hermann, MD, MBA and Chief Executive Officer of Somatix.

The studies done in partnership with national healthcare institutions will allow the company to launch the newly tested functionalities on the global market, using its experience in Portugal as a reference to demonstrate the usefulness of its technology to other healthcare systems worldwide.