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26 June 2013

Surrey GP Practices roll out new iPad-based patient memory assessment system

Guildford and Waverley CCG leading the use of Cantab Mobile to help enable timely dementia assessment and improve diagnosis rates, cutting diagnosis wait times and increasing standards in patient care.

London, UK. 26 June 2013 – The Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is leading the use of an innovative new iPad-based memory assessment  system as part of a national push to decrease dementia diagnosis waiting times and streamline the referral process.   Accessed through NHS medical professionals, Cantab Mobile enables GPs to test a patient’s episodic memory through an easy to use and administer 10-minute cognitive assessment.

Of the 21 GP practices in the Guildford and Waverley region, 19 have been provided with iPads and the software to assess patients who have concerns about their memory loss.  This new, UK-developed, technology is based on tests that previously have only been available to pharmaceutical companies and academia for specialist trials and research. The Cantab Mobile medical software has been developed by Cambridge Cognition, the leading British developer of neuropsychological tests, born out of research at Cambridge University.

Whilst memory loss is one of the most important factors for diagnosing dementia, until now automated testing methods such as this have not been available to GPs to detect early memory loss or mild cognitive impairment.

Sophisticated and accurate early level of dementia assessment

“Cantab Mobile gives our GPs a more sophisticated and accurate early level of dementia assessment. This technology is particularly beneficial for identifying those patients with subtle memory loss that can be indicative of dementia, which can be very difficult to diagnose through traditional pen and paper cognitive assessments,” comments GP Dr. Jonathan Inglesfield, medical director (commissioning) and mental health lead for Guildford and Waverley CCG.

Ruth Keir, CEO, Cambridge Cognition, comments: “We are delighted that GPs in Guildford and Waverley are leading in our programme of CCG deployments of Cantab Mobile. There has been significant interest in the primary care sector for the technology, with over 60 CCGs currently trialling the software, several currently deployed and many more set to roll out in the coming months.

Prime Minister’s ‘Dementia Challenge’ funding

Delivering healthcare services to 220,000 people across the two boroughs, the Guildford and Waverley CCG has experienced a surge in patients visiting GPs with concerns about memory loss as a result of heightened dementia awareness through recent Government initiatives. The CCG used funding from the Prime Minister’s ‘Dementia Challenge’ to support the implementation of the new Cantab Mobile point of care diagnostic tool.

Guildford and Waverley CCG’s innovative implementation of Cantab Mobile is showing how to improve dementia diagnosis in order to meet the targets set out in the Dementia Challenge. Less than half of the estimated 800,000 NHS patients with dementia have a diagnosis, and the Government’s target aims to achieve a diagnosis rate of 80 per cent. The Cantab Mobile assessment will also be used by GPs in Guildford and Waverley to test patients as part of the new NHS Dementia Directed Enhanced Service (DES) which supports a proactive approach to the timely assessment of patients who may be at risk of dementia.

Peace of mind to those patients who are concerned about their memory

“Using Cantab Mobile, GPs across our CCG are also able to offer an accurate diagnosis to those with cognitive problems, as well as peace of mind to those patients who are concerned about their memory, but don’t have indications of dementia,” adds Dr. Inglesfield. “Our GPs can be confident that they are only referring those patients that have been identified as having a cognitive problem for further assessment at memory clinics, which not only reassures patients, but also helps to reduce unnecessary referrals to specialist memory clinics and associated costs.”

The technology is based on assessment technology validated in 175 peer-reviewed publications, and used around the world in academic research and by the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.

Results from the test are calculated instantly

The results from the test are calculated instantly and automatically compared to a normative database of over 5000 subjects.  Importantly, Cantab Mobile instantly compares the patient’s performance to expected levels, adjusting for education, age, and gender. A report is automatically generated which clearly indicates how to proceed: Investigate, Monitor, or Reassure. The culturally neutral test also includes the Geriatric Depression Scale and a functional assessment in the form of the Activities of Daily Living questionnaire.

Cambridge Cognition launched Cantab Mobile in May 2012 and currently has 166 licensed users across 16 customers including 6 CCGs, as well as private healthcare groups, a pharmacy chain and a customer in Germany, the Company’s first sale outside of the UK. Several trials with CCGs are expected to convert into licence sales in the coming months.