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Demo #1: MindCheck (London) - DementiaHack TO2014

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Published on Sep 15, 2014

Mindcheck uses game dynamics combined with psychometrics to monitor cognition over time.

A problem in dementia is ongoing monitoring of the condition. There are two scenarios when this is important:

At the stage of mild cognitive impairment when there is a chance the person might decline
Once the diagnosis is established making decisions about the efficacy of the treatment the person is receiving.

This results in ongoing clinical appointments purely for monitoring. We feel there is a good opportunity to save money and make the process more efficient if monitoring is done at home. This also has the advantage of being less off putting for the person with dementia as clinical paper-based tests can be daunting for individuals.

This app combines engagement through simple game mechanics and by showing the user pictures from their social media feeds with activities that measure new learning, speed of processing and some aspects of executive function.

We use the metaphor of growing a garden and checking on the plants and caring for them it to get them to engage repeatedly. So here they can see they need to ‘water the plant’ and we start on the daily task. In this case they meet Phil who we will ask some questions about later. Next they do a version of the Stroop test to measure executive function. We track their time in going through all the tasks constantly so we get a measure of processing speed throughout.

We make it a point not to give negative feedback and guide them to the right answer.

Then we do another simple registration task.

We show them pictures of their loved ones that we pull directly from social media to keep them engaged.

Finally we get them to express themselves. This at the moment is a mock up but we could build a version of the trailmaking test here or a visuospatial task.

The tasks will be generated through an algorithm to minimise learning effects so we can do repeated testing. The repeated testing is valuable as we can compare their performance over time and also their performance versus a norm.

Our plan would be to design different tasks for different days, add content and then validate it as a cognitive test versus gold standard screening tools. It also would need user engagement validation.

The clinician looking after the person would get this info securely and decide when is time to bring them back into clinic and whether the medication they are on is really delivering value without taking up too many clinic slots.

In time we could look at developing cognitive markers for the different dementias that could be used in diagnostic clinics also saving face to face time and also giving you a better read as it would not be just based on a single day’s performance.

Team members:

Justin Holloway
Max Bye
Tuan Phuong
Andres Fonseca

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