App Usage Can Predict Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

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An Apple research paper called “App Usage Predicts Cognitive Ability in Older Adults” says that iPhone usage can help predict cognitive decline in older adults [PDF].

To characterize smartphone usage among older adults, we collected iPhone usage data from 84 healthy older adults over three months. We find that older adults use fewer apps, take longer to complete tasks, and send fewer messages. We use cognitive test results from these same older adults to then show that up to 79% of these differences can be explained by cognitive decline, and that we can predict cognitive test performance from smartphone usage with 83% ROCAUC. While older adults differ from younger adults in app usage behavior, the “cognitively young” older adults use smartphones much like their younger counterparts. Our study suggests that to better support all older adults, researchers and developers should consider the full spectrum of cognitive function.

Filmed Interviews of Seniors from 1929 - These People Were Alive When Lincoln Was President

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Check out these filmed interviews of senior citizens from 1928 to 1930. One couple was 93 and 96 years old, meaning they were born when Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson were president (respectively). More interesting to me is that they were adults during the Civil War and throughout President Lincoln’s presidency. All of the seniors featured in this compilation were at least young adults when Lincoln was president. That’s a seriously different perspective, and I just found watching it fascinating. Oh, and the interviews were conducted in different parts of the U.S., so you get a cross section of society being represented. “The country’s dry now,” said the flappers to the oldster who mentioned drinking the occasional high ball. “You say so, but is it?” he replied. Yep, that was about right. And dude could still tap dance at 93. Salute, sir, salute! And then there was the 86 year old traveling salesman who claimed he had traveled some 2.5 million miles during his career. Good stuff. The fellow who posted it—Guy Jones—said he edited the films and cleaned up the audio.