Mined behavioural computing data shows early signs of Parkinson's Disease


In 2018, a Duke University medical doctor who worked with Microsoft researchers to analyse millions of Bing user searches found links between some computer users' physical behaviours - tremors while using a mouse, repeated queries, and average scrolling speed - and Parkinson's disease. The hope was to be able to diagnose conditions like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's earlier and more accurately. Other such studies tracked participants via a weekly online health survey, mouse usage, and, via sensors installed in cars' data ports, driving patterns. The researchers claim the data being analysed has been anonymised and can't be tracked back to the original users, and that the activities are likely covered by privacy policies, but it's still unclear how and whether individual consent should or could be obtained.

Writer: Sumathi Reddy
Publication: Wall Street Journal

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