San Antonio Magazine: Walking to Detect Alzheimer’s

January 3, 2020

San Antonio startup GaitIQ aims to help prevent dementia by analyzing your walk
By Kristin Mears

By recording a patient walking during a routine physical, doctors will one day be able to detect whether the person is at risk for dementia. That’s the vision of San Antonio entrepreneur Rick Morris, whose GaitIQ is developing a cloud-based platform that utilizes machine vision, AI and big data analytics to identify and evaluate subtle changes in the way a person walks. Shifts in gait, or a person’s pattern of walking or foot movement, have been linked to the risk of dementia and can be traced sooner than memory loss.

Gait labs that analyze a patient’s walk already exist but are often cost prohibitive and take up to half a day to complete, Morris says. The technology his team is developing will allow for a physician to use a wireless tablet to record their patient’s walk, upload it to the GaitIQ app and receive results within five minutes. Morris says they’ve been awarded National Institute on Aging grants and also are raising private investment to get the product into the market as quickly as possible. The early detection they hope to provide will bring opportunities for medical interventions and lifestyle changes that could slow or even reverse the progress of disease, he says.

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