The funds are targeting a problem that trips up many older adults - mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that makes it difficult to remember simple things, like a name or a basic task. UC San Diego intends to make it easier to recognize MCI, whose symptoms can be hard to distinguish from the natural decline in thinking and memory as a part of aging.
“If you can detect it in time, there are ways to dramatically slow MCI down,” said Tajana Šimunić Rosing, a UC San Diego computer scientist who will help lead a five year study of the matter. “The bad news is that by the time most people go see a doctor they’re already experiencing more severe stages of cognitive decline.”
Much of the $10 million contract that UC San Diego will receive from IBM will be used to study about 50 people who are 65 and older.
Ten of those people will have their homes outfitted with an assortment of sensors and electronic devices that will monitor their daily habits and behavior, which provide clues to how clearly people are thinking and remembering things. See The San Diego Union-Tribune article for more information.