Driving Behaviors May Reveal Early Alzheimer’s Symptoms

4 Aug 2021

GPS Tracking in automobiles is one of the greatest tools to improve driving habits and safety. GPS fleet tracking offers the ability for truck fleets to save money on gas  — and it can also show that driving behaviors may reveal early Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Washington University in St. Louis conducted research to study driving habits of those who may or may not have Alzheimer symptoms. This study can be difficult to prove as all drivers have different habits, good or bad. Some drive fast while others drive slow. Some drive much more aggressively than others.

This study was done on 139 people. Around half of this group has early signs of Alzheimer.

Here are some of the results from the study:

  • The ones that already had preclinical Alzheimers showed that they drove slower than the ones that did not have signs of Alzheimers.
  • People who did not have signs of Alzheimers were making less abrupt changes while they were driving.
  • The ones with symptoms drove less miles overall.
  • The ones that had the early symptoms of Alzhiemers traveled less at night.

These signs probably could have been assumed when thinking about how different health conditions affected driving techniques. Even though this was a relatively small study sample, this is getting us to go in the correct direction.

In this study, researchers suggested  that if more people utilize GPS tracking in their cars, then they could be monitored better as it relates Alzheimers. If these signs are caught on early, then this illness might be able to be treated much earlier with better results. And, GPS tracking for the elderly is already being used for our older population, people with dementia, and also Alzheimer’s patients.

This is a direct snippet from the BBC study. “They were able to design a model that could forecast someone’s likelihood of having preclinical Alzheimers’s using merely their age and their GPS driving data. It proved to be 86% accurate.”

86% accuracy is an incredibly high number. It jumped up to 90% accuracy when they added in a genetic test as a variable. Anything that is proven to help this study is going to be great for the human population. Alzheimers is a serious illness, and having data that reveals it could be discovered in an individual earlier is a great breakthrough.

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