Younger people tend to walk in straight lines. Older people tend to sway to the left and right as they age. The same sensors in your smart phone that gauge its orientation may soon be helping doctors monitor their patients.
The app is the brain child of computer scientist Dr. Gary Tyson. “We're looking for this efficiency in the gad and how that degrades over time. That's going to degrade for everybody as we get older. But we think there might be a signature for that degradation occurs in somebody who has a progressive disease," said Tyson.
The app records data on your movement 50 times every second.
"This point of impact actually corresponds to the right leg striking the floor," said Leon Brown.
Ph. D. Candidate Leon Brown is working with Tyson on the project. "I see it being useful in balance clinics."
Newer phones have newer accelerometers which mean this project is only scratching the surface of what's possible.
The App is already showing great promise in the training student athletes.
"Understanding how you are doing on a day to day basis is valuable for everybody weather it's a hangover or cold or whatever. We can capture that information by just looking at how your phone is moving in your pocket," said Tyson.
Tyson and his students have also developed an app that can judge when a person has fallen and can’t get up. The app will notify emergency officials or family automatically.
The new app stores the data it collects on your phone so you’re in complete control so there are no privacy concerns.