Med Device Monday: Memory Impairment Test

Screengrab from the video below.

Screengrab from the video below.

A test of memory, done on an iPad. 

No, it's not a the latest mobile game: it's an FDA-regulated medical device. 

Cambridge Cognition has gained FDA's approval for a touchscreen memory impairment test that has the potential to shape lives. CANTAB Mobile screens for mood and memory impairment with tests that have been used for more than 30 years in clinical research for Alzheimer's disease. Patients are also screened for depression during the process to ensure there are no false positives given the overlap of symptoms. What's more, the test is available in 20 languages and results are given immediately.

Cambridge Cognition explains that the test is adaptive, and that "testing will end once a patient reaches their limit for the number of attempts for their age, gender or level of education. CANTAB Mobile includes two optional questionnaires, a mood assessment (the Geriatric Depression Scale or GDS-15) and an assessment of activities of daily living."

The answers a patient gives are subsequently compared to norms for their age, gender, and other factors, and compiled into a simple report. The report also outlines next steps if needed. 

One of the benefits of this device is the role it plays in early detection. First, it can give peace of mind to people who may fear they're suffering from dementia and are not, and second, early detection enables early intervention. 

The Alzheimer's Association explains that early intervention is important for several reasons, including getting the maximum benefit from available treatments and potentially being included in clinical drug trials, having more time with loved ones, and being able to plan for your own future and make decisions for yourself. 

Medical Plastic News quotes the CEO, Dr Steven Powell, as saying: “There is a great unmet need for effective near patient assessment tools to assess memory impairment. CANTAB Mobile is an established and proven digital health product and we are delighted to announce the 510(k) clearance."

And all on an iPad.

Apple released the iPhone almost (almost!) 10 years ago. Do you remember how novel and brilliant the pinch-zoom technology seemed when you saw your first iPhone? iPads followed iPhones three years later: it's pretty incredible to think about the changes that have come in that time, and to see new inventions that continue to pop up. It's exciting to have a front row seat as technology continues to shape us, change lives, and advance medical devices in ways that we couldn't have imagined even ten years ago.


Further reading:

Product classification for CANTAB Mobile

FDA approval letter for CANTAB Mobile