Using Finger Dexterity in Elderly and Younger People to Detect Cognitive Decline
Katsuya Fujiwara, Hiroyuki Fujii, and Kazutaka Mitobe
Graduate School of Engineering Science, Akita University
1-1 Tegata-gakuen-machi, Akita 010-8502, Japan
Because the number of elderly people is rapidly growing, using information and communication technology (ICT) for services to watch single-elder-person households has been attracting attention. Most of these services are aimed at detecting elders’ abnormalities. They could become more effective, from the preventive-medicine point of view, if additional functions were added to watch for any decline in the elders’ cognitive functions. In this paper, we describe a method for detecting minor declines in elders’ cognitive functions, which they may not be aware of, by measuring and analyzing their spiral-tracing ability using a tablet device. We developed such a measurement/analysis system and applied it to three groups of test participants: young, non-frail elders, and frail elders. This paper first describes the method for analyzing the numbers of out-of-orbit tracing attempts, the numbers of uncompleted attempts, the required time, and the angular velocities, and then refers to these tasks to reveal the elders’ characteristics from the analytic results.
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