Can an App Play Doctor? The Surprising Answer for Hydrocephalus and Parkinson’s

A breakthrough app won the Henry Ford Health System’s first artificial intelligence challenge. A team from Israel developed the app to assist in monitoring conditions such as Parkinson’s and hydrocephalus. Keep reading to learn more about this technological development, or follow the original story here.

Over one billion people suffer from neurological conditions across the globe. On average, that evens out to each neurologist in the world taking on several thousand patients. With the number of patients so greatly outweighing the number of available specialists, something had to be done to close the gap.

Israeli startup Montfort (Mon4T) created an app to do just that.

The app functions as a brain monitor in real-time.
It relies on the technology already familiar to smartphone users, and a series of digital tests patients can take. The app records and analyzes the data from theses tests to help monitor conditions such as Parkinson’s and hydrocephalus.

Montfort developed the app for both iOS and Android. Once installed on the patient’s smartphone, the app utilizes the devices own integral sensors. It connects touchscreens, microphones, and accelerometers already inside modern smart phones. Using these device features, the app monitors motor, cognitive, and affective signs and symptoms.

Alongside the patient version of the app exists a partner app, for use by physicians. This will allow patients to monitor their condition and take tests in their own homes while also opening new possibilities for medical staff.

The Henry Ford Innovations group selected Montfort from a group of 50 competing applicants. The contest stems back to an initiative began by the Henry Ford Health System in 2011 to support development of health technologies. The challenge Montfort succeeded in was part of an effort to bring Israeli developments to the United States healthcare market.

Members associated with the Henry Ford group spoke fondly of Montfort’s app. There appears to be much promise for it.

Mark Coticchia, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer for Henry Ford Health System, describes the app as an opportunity to lighten the load from the shoulders of physicians.

Every bit of time the app saves on routine tests and diagnostic measures can be spent instead on patient care.

Dr. Peter LeWitt, Director of the Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders Program at Henry Ford Hospital points tot he app as a method of improving clinical care as well as research.

Artificial intelligence, simply put, thinks differently than the human mind. It sees and accounts for factors doctors may not deem as important, may disregard as routine, or may never have imagined. The app is also unbiased, providing fresh eyes to any problem.

Henry Ford awarded Montfort $75,000 for winning the Artificial Intelligence Challenge. The money assists Monfort in research, and development of technologies at Henry Ford in Detroit, Michigan. A team of mentors, and experts stands ready to assist Montfort in furthering the possibilities their app represents.

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