- GPS SmartSole® selected by George Mason University for groundbreaking study to link movement patterns of dementia patients with progression of disease
- GTX Corp’s flagship GPS SmartSole® and tracking technology were developed specifically to track people with cognitive disorders at risk of wandering
- More than 60 percent of people with dementia will wander, creating a stressful and potentially dangerous situation; Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia afflict about 5.7 million Americans, with nearly 80 percent of those patients being cared for at home by a family member
GTX Corp (OTC: GTXO), a pioneer in the field of wearable GPS human and asset tracking systems and wandering assistive technology, has partnered with George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services (“Mason”) in an important study using the company’s flagship GPS SmartSole® and tracking technology platform (http://nnw.fm/4MohI). The patented GPS SmartSole® is a non-visible GPS tracking device designed to monitor the location of people afflicted with cognitive memory disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism and traumatic brain injury (TBI), who have a tendency to get lost or wander.
The study, funded through a grant from the Alzheimer’s & Related Disease Research Award Fund, aims to track the progression of Alzheimer’s dementia (“AD”) in patients as it relates to their movement patterns, the news release states. Specifically, the study explores the possibility of using machine learning methods and artificial intelligence applied to data from GPS trackers to create models that can predict patterns of movement. GTX Corp will provide its SmartSole® products and replace them as needed over a period of two to three years, in addition to sharing access to its GPS data and scientific expertise in the technology, Patrick Bertagna, GTX Corp CEO, said.
“This is so remarkable and truly innovative thinking,” Bertagna said in the news release outlining the company’s continued support of the university’s research program. “We began supporting Mason in 2016, with their first small and no budget study, and to see this work evolve to this degree is really impressive. Knowing that our technology continues to prove out its efficacy in what could potentially help millions of seniors afflicted with dementia is such a validation to our core mission statement.”
The university published encouraging results of an exploratory study using GTX Corp’s tracking technology in June, which was soon followed by the grant application to expand the research project. Approved in July and funded for one year, the study has the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of Alzheimer patients and their caregivers, researchers stated in the June report (http://nnw.fm/d7CZ3).
“The majority of people with AD are in danger of wandering including getting lost. Subsequently, these individuals may get hurt, cause extreme distress for family and caregivers, and require costly search efforts. The presented research aimed at finding patterns of movement that can eventually lead to prediction of wandering,” the report states.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 5.7 million Americans of all ages currently living with Alzheimer’s, costing the nation $277 billion in 2018. Those numbers are rising quickly, along with the estimated number of Americans providing unpaid care for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia (http://nnw.fm/nVb9A). Alzheimer’s disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and is a top cause of disability and poor health.
“The future of patient monitoring is in advanced technologies, such as GTX’s SmartSole, aided by Artificial Intelligence and prediction,” added Janusz Wojtusiak, associate professor and Director of Health Informatics at George Mason’s College of Health and Human Services and lead researcher of the study. “By combining these two technologies, we can achieve what has not been possible before. The new study is getting us one step closer to safe care for people with Alzheimer’s and understanding how wandering patterns relate to progression of the disease.”
The research will be made available to GTX Corp, which will consider deploying the prediction algorithms into its backend monitoring platform, adding another layer of technology and overall value to the company’s proprietary GPS tracking platform and monitoring services.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people living with some form of dementia is expected to triple in the next 30 years from 50 million worldwide to 152 million by 2050. The estimated annual global cost of dementia is $818 billion, or about one percent of the world’s gross domestic product (http://nnw.fm/I5IOg).
“This pilot (research program) could produce the groundbreaking data that may have the potential to save lives and dramatically reduce the rising costs of this disease,” Andrew Carle, Adjunct Professor and Founding Director of the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason, noted in a news release.
Andrew Duncan, GTX Corp director of business development, agrees, adding, “This research combined with AI, could play a major role in finding solutions to complex problems derived from Alzheimer’s, dementia and autism.”
All of this comes on the heels of the company’s major announcement in June that its tracking technology has been selected for use in the UK to monitor dementia patients, and could soon become available in the through the country’s National Health Service (http://nnw.fm/WsIn0).
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.GTXCorp.com
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