Using technology to improve how Alzheimer's disease is detected

Older man and woman couple smile at the camera standing in front of trees and vines

The DETECT-AD study (Digital Evaluations and Technologies Enabling Clinical Translation for Alzheimer's Disease) aims to improve how Alzheimer's disease is detected at early or preclinical stages.

Simulating a clinical trial, the study uses a combination of devices and sensors to see how well they can detect clinically meaningful changes in someone at risk of developing the disease. Staff at the Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research Center look for changes in mobility, cognition, sleep, and socialization. 

Improving how Alzheimer's disease is detected early helps researchers develop new treatments and helps patients and their families better plan for their future. 

How to enroll

Contact our study coordinator, Jennifer Marcoe

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Are at least 65 years old
  • Use a computer, tablet, or smart phone and have an active internet connection
  • Willing to have visits at OHSU that include cognitive assessments, an MRI, PET scan, and blood draws
  • Willing to have devices installed and used in your home (including but not limited to): a scale, pillbox, movement sensors, and an activity watch
  • Willing to participate in genetic research
  • Normal cognition or MCI diagnosis
  • Have a study partner

  • Visits to OHSU for a cognitive assessment, brief medical exam, an MRI, a PET scan and blood draws
  • Technologies like an activity watch, wireless pillbox, wall sensors, scale, computer and phone software, and a driving sensor.
  • Online health surveys and memory exercises
  • Compensation is $100 for PET/MRI regardless of enrollment and, if enrolled, $50 per month
  • Study duration is up to 36 months

Detecting behavioral activity

Devices and sensors measure research volunteers' behavioral activity, including:  

  • Mobility - Walking speed is measured by a wrist-watch activity tracker
  • Cognition - Computer use, measured by software installed in computers
  • Sleep - Sleep times, measured by sleep sensors and activity trackers
  • Socialization - Time spent out of home, measured by motion sensors installed in volunteers' homes

Learn more about our technologies

Our research

Researchers can collaborate with our team to:

  • Request to use our data
  • Develop future projects
  • Write new publications 

How to partner with our study: