We are all patients in some capacity. Even those of us who appear to be the very picture of health typically see a physician once a year.
Let’s ponder that phrase — “the picture of health” — for a moment. What does that picture look like? It may call to mind a fit physique or an optimal blood panel. But what other nuances go into that snapshot? Where do mobility and memory fit into the frame? And how does the portrait vary from person to person?
Answers to these questions may soon become clearer, thanks in part to emerging technologies. Passive monitoring platforms, for instance, involve connected sensors that collect data as a person goes about his or her everyday life. These metrics include digital biomarkers— objective, quantifiable and sometimes clinically significant data related to a person's physiology, behavior or health.
With the growing maturity of sensors in health, data sciences to identify key predictive features, and the general trend of increasing digitalization of health, digital biomarkers could indicate the onset, progression or severity of certain neurodegenerative diseases or conditions. They may aid in early diagnoses, inform treatment plans and empower people to better understand their health.