EDoN – A global study using wearable technology

The Early Detection of Neurodegenerative Diseases (EDoN) study is the largest initiative in the world to collect, share and analyse clinical and digital health data to detect diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

Spearheaded by Alzheimer’s Research UK and partnered with global leaders in dementia research, EDoN is an ambitious project that aims to develop an innovative approach to detect dementia years before the onset of symptoms.

The EDoN initiative aims to detect conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease by investigating a range of very subtle behavioural and brain changes that emerge years before problems like memory loss start to affect a person’s day-to-day life.

Certain biomarkers such as heart rate, sleep patterns, gait, mood, and some cognitive functions may be affected by underlying neurodegenerative processes. The EDoN study captures this type of information using non-invasive, readily available, direct-to-consumer technologies such as active and passive smartphone-based assessments and passive data collection from wearable devices.

The project is funded by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation via a grant awarded to Alzheimer’s Research UK on which A/Prof Stephanie Rainey-Smith and Professor Ralph Martins are named investigators. Perth researchers recruited from the WA Memory Study which is supported by ARA.

The impact

Digital data fingerprints could help to detect the early stages of Alzheimer’s 10 to 15 years earlier than is currently possible. This would help keep people connected to their world, their families and themselves for longer.