Alzheimer’s disease affects people all over the world and Kumaran Akilan’s family is no different.

As the first-year student from Cupertino waits to see if his grandfather’s mild cognitive impairment is indeed Alzheimer’s, Akilan has been busy deciphering a new way to diagnose the disease — with a smartphone.

With the help of a friend, Akilan recently developed a computer-vision algorithm that extracts the retinal vessel system and determines abnormalities that can help detect the presence of Alzheimer’s.

“You can’t stop what has already happened, the only thing you can really do is to help people in the future,” the computer science major said. “My grandfather’s symptoms show Alzheimer’s, but he hasn’t been diagnosed yet.

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