IISc Uses Smartphones to Screen for Neurodegenerative Diseases


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IISc Uses Smartphones to Screen for Neurodegenerative Diseases



 The project is being worked on by the Indian Institute of Science, or IISc for short, at the moment, which will collect data for frequently diagnosed neuro-degenerative diseases and create predictive models utilizing cutting-edge machine learning methods.

In order to gather data on neurological diseases, the Learning and Extraction of Acoustic Patterns (LEAP), the electrical and electronic engineering Department’s laboratory, has started a collaboration with Aster CMI hospitals. The project aims to make a lot of mobile devices for people of all ages.

What is Neurodegenerative Diseases

Millions of people worldwide are impacted by neurodegenerative disorders. The two of the most prevalent neurological diseases are Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

When nerve cells within the cerebral or the peripheral nervous system begin to lose their ability to function over time and eventually die, this is referred to as a neurodegenerative illness. 

However, some neurodegenerative disease symptoms can be alleviated with particular drugs, and there is presently no effective treatment and just a slowing of the disease’s progression.

Age significantly raises the risk of getting a neurodegenerative disease. Considering the increase in life expectancy, more Americans could acquire neurological conditions in the coming generations. 

We must create novel approaches for prevention as well as treatment and learn more about the processes behind neurodegenerative disorders.

Scientists understand that a person’s chance to develop a neurodegenerative disease is affected by their environment and genetic makeup. For example, even if a person has the genotype that contributes to Parkinson’s disease, their interaction with the environment continues to affect whether, while and how badly their symptoms are impacted.

Examining potential exposures that occurred before a disease diagnosis and understanding the consequences is part of the most critical research.

Numerous non-communicable diseases are prevalent.

In India, the incidence of non-communicable neurological conditions has nearly doubled over the last thirty years, mainly as a result of population aging. Currently, this causes 10% of all deaths in the whole country. 

The rapid demographic and epidemiological altar also indicates a substantial rise in this number; based on medical evidence, Sriram Ganapathy, Associate instructor who are electrical engineering, LEAP lab, updated The Hindu.

Mr Sriram claims that people, especially those from rural areas, who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s, dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), present to have tests or scans about 18 months after the onset of all these conditions. The early detection of neurological conditions is one of the primary factors that can lessen the impact.

“The clinical analysis, which may include MRI scans to determine the neurological status of the individual, is the first crucial stage in the identifying process. 

The current convention’s cost and the need for widespread access to clinical competence and MRI imaging devices are its primary drawbacks. These drawbacks impede testing, which delays diagnosis, as stated by Mr Sriram.

In a study conducted by him, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease are reasonably apparent in an array of modalities that may be easily measured with smartphones, such as facial expressions, utterances, gait patterns, and finger motions.

Principal aims of the project

  • To develop a database with rich audio-visual data concerning various neurodegenerative illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease.
  • To create models for machine learning using multimodal data so that disease screening can be done using information collected by cell phones.
  • Give patients and healthcare providers tools for tracking and providing suggestions for upcoming tests and diagnoses.

Screening Layer

The strategy takes advantage of the widespread adoption of smartphone technologies amongst people of all ages to add a layer for screening before the present convention of diagnosis.

 Modern smartphones come with excellent microphones and cameras that make it possible to anonymously and inexpensively collect medical information.

 The ultimate objective is to provide the tool on a highly affordable portable deployment platform, which is easy to use, and computing at the edge enabled.

A nonprofit organization managed by Dr B. Lokesh, lead consultant Neurologist Aster CMI, has given medical knowledge to IISc. A little over two hundred individuals have been sampled, and the data processing procedure is now underway. The vast majority of the patients who supplied this data resided in and around Bengaluru.


The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is working on a project to gather data for frequently diagnosed neurodegenerative diseases and create diagnostic models using cutting-edge machine learning methods.

 Researchers want to use the excellent microphones and cameras offered by smartphones to offer a highly affordable, simple-to-use tool that will aid in the initial diagnosis of neurodegenerative illnesses.

Targeting the degeneration changes that result in the death of neurons is the basis of current advances in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

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