Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Google Glass and Alzheimer's, the importance of medical innovation, and the privacy implications of tracking technology to monitor Alzheimer's patients (read more).  

 

Must reads

  • A January 21, 2014 Huffington Post piece by USA2 Chairman George Vradenburg highlighted the possibility of Google Glass as an Alzheimer's aid. According to Vradenburg, "Indeed, Google Glass has many of the capabilities needed to become a "memory support system." That is, Glass could use its amazing technology to help early Alzheimer's victims who "wanders" by providing them with cues, prompts, and reminders of where they wanted to go and of how to get there. Using Google GPS, Glass could provide specific walking directions to the grocery store. It could become a prosthetic "memory support system" bringing a new sense of independence to the cognitively impaired, encouraging them to venture out into the world."
  • A January 21, 2014 The Hill opinion piece by Andrew von Eschenbach and Paul Howard called for increased research and development collaboration to treat diseases like Alzheimer's. According to the authors, "Innovation is not optional.  It is a national imperative. To generate the innovation we need at a cost we can afford we need to re-tool our entire ecosystem for medical innovation to deliver new treatments and cures to patients faster and less expensively than ever before.  This will require unprecedented cooperation and collaboration between industry, academia, and regulators – and recognition by the federal government that a vibrant life-sciences industry will generate higher national productivity, lower total health care costs, and technological “spillovers” that will benefit almost every other industrial sector, from agriculture to defense." Von Eschenbach is a former Fodd and Drug Administration commissioner. Howard is with the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress.
  • A January 21, 2014 Vancouver Sun (Canada) article reported on privacy implications of using tracking and monitoring systems to care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. According to the article, "While health authorities mull the idea of installing surveillance technology as an added safety measure in care homes, an ethical dilemma must be addressed, said Micheal Vonn, policy director at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.“This is not just a question of safety versus privacy,” she said. “It’s easy to say ‘life or death’ over privacy. People will always say life and death.”Installing cameras in people’s living spaces catches them at their most vulnerable, said Vonn, as well as the staff involved. “There are those who will say, ‘Well, that’s a good thing’ but to what degree is that level of monitoring appropriate?”"

 

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