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This eye-scanning app screens patients for Alzheimer’s and ADHD

The tech takes advantage of the near-infrared cameras in newer smartphones.

app for testing for alzheimer's and adhd
Image: DigiHealth Lab

Researchers have developed a new telehealth discovery that will help discover neurological diseases and disorders. The app uses smartphone technology to detect diseases like Alzheimer’s, ADHD, and more.

The new technology was revealed in a press release from the University of California San Diego late last week. Researchers then presented their findings at the recent ACM Computer Human Interaction Conference.

The technology utilizes the cameras on a smartphone as a “pupillometer,” or tool that measures the size of a person’s pupils. It uses the near-infrared cameras in newer smartphones with facial recognition combined with the regular selfie camera to track changes in pupil size.

Pupil size can tell a lot about a person’s neurological function, making this a breakthrough in medical technology. But there is still a lot of work to be done.

Additionally, according to Eric Granholm, a psychiatry professor at the university, this new smartphone tool could “aid in the detection and understanding of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

“This could have a huge public health impact,” the professor continued. Researchers from the university will continue testing and developing this technology. In fact, the next step is a project to enable similar functions on older smartphones that don’t include near-infrared cameras.

Going forward, the researchers will continue to work with older people to help test the smartphone technology’s ability to identify early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Currently, there are no plans for a wide rollout of this tech, but it could be a great early indicator in the future.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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