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Computerised testing: applications in recruitment and monitoring of patients in clinical trials

Wearable technology can enable older adults with cognitive concerns to monitor their cognition on a daily basis and provide clinicians and researchers with information at a higher temporal resolution than previously possible. This research, presented at CTAD 2016, looked at the use of cognitive tests such as CANTAB for web-based testing alongside wearable cognitive assessments.


This study looked at both web-based testing and wearable cognitive monitoring. Study one (into web-based testing) saw 878 participants aged between 18 and 70 recruited. These participants completed an adaptive test of episodic memory (Paired Associates Learning – PAL) from CANTAB, alongside other tests of memory (Delayed Matching to Sample - DMS), or working memory (Spatial Span, Spatial Working Memory - SWM).

The second part of the study (into wearable cognitive monitoring) involved 10 participants, aged 24-55. Wearable-based cognitive testing was carried out using a 2-back memory paradigm. This task taps into several aspects of cognition, including attention, memory updating and working memory.


The results of study one showed there to be no difference in PAL errors between supervised and web-based testing and that more variable and slower reaction times (RT) during web-based testing were associated with more PAL errors (r = .35) and younger age (r = .-21)

In study two, participants demonstrated learning over the course of the two-week trial. It was also found that performance on the N-back micro-testing was significantly correlated with performance on CANTAB tests of working memory and attention.

Interested in learning more about the application of computerised testing in the recruitment and monitoring of patients in clinical trials? Download this poster. 


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