NeuroCoRe – Digitising dementia assessment
Prompt dementia assessment is an established priority for both the government and the NHS. Traditionally the responsibility for these assessments has fallen to NHS memory clinics, but the huge increase in need for such services has seen waiting times significantly lengthen. In many instances, non-specialist clinical staff are now supporting assessments, to help ensure people with suspected dementia are rapidly assessed.
A major part of this process is cognitive assessment, one of the primary markers of dementia onset alongside a relevant history and observed change in functioning. But when two clinical psychologists conducted an audit of cognitive assessments performed using the most common tool, they found 78 per cent were significantly prone to human error – and this was across a team of specialists.
Craig Newman and Rupert Noad, therefore, decided to develop an app to help clinicians conduct such reviews more accurately. ACEmobile guides users through the assessment process and then automatically creates an assessment score, meaning clinicians no longer have to refer to guidelines and scoring methodologies when conducting assessments. Data is also automatically stored, making audit easier.
A peer-reviewed study demonstrated a non-specialist junior clinician could use the app to complete a cognition assessment which was 85-93 per cent more accurate than the average for a specialist not using digital. ACEmobile has also been shown to reduce the time needed for an assessment by an average of 20 per cent.
The app, which is free, now has registered users at more than 1,000 clinical sites.
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