Kai Leong, an 18-year-old graduate from Killarney Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C., has just developed a new smartphone app that measures and analyzes a person’s gait to help detect whether someone might have Alzheimer’s disease, CBC News is reporting.
In an interview with The Early Edition’s Renée Filippone, Leong explained that most seniors do not realize that walking patterns are validated markers of neurodegenerative diseases. “They’re often overlooked because of how expensive and how inaccessible current walking analysis or gait analysis is,” he said.
Leong says that although his app cannot replace a gait lab which conducts tests in an official medical setting, it does offer an accessible and affordable option for early detection:
To get a gait reading using Leong’s system, seniors can put the smartphone into their back pocket and walk. The app records their gait. Leong runs the recording through an algorithm he has created, and then compares the person’s gait with those of people who have Alzheimer’s and individuals who are cognitively healthy.
Leong, who has been selected by Youth Science Canada to participate in the China Adolescent Science and Technology Innovation Contest in Macau, China, is one of two Canadian students representing the country at the event.