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Oct 18, 2015

New Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease test may allow doctors to diagnose and treat these illnesses sooner, leading to better quality of life and reduced health care costs. The new system, called the “digital Clock Drawing Test,” detects and analyzes information that was previously imperceptible: hesitations, uneven lines, and other behaviors once unseen. The machine learning methods then help in determining what is important in the data coming from the pen. Given the greying of the population worldwide, we will face a major health care problem in the coming years. In the absence of an effective drug, by 2050, there could be 14 million people with Alzheimer’s, with health care costs running to one trillion dollars. So it is crucial to treat them sooner and slow the progression. This is a case where artificial intelligence and machine learning methods can make an important difference.