Savonix launches cognitive assessment app

By Heather Mack
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San Francisco-based Savonix announced the global launch of their cognitive assessment app, Savonix Mobile. The app is accessible on any mobile device, and aims to eliminate the need for pen-and-paper exams to screen for cognitive function. The app was also created to serve as the vehicle for providers, patients and patients to easily incorporate the data into treatment planning and decision-making.

The company, which was founded in 2014, is made up of neuroscientists and gaming experts. The 30-minute brain training and testing app is based on existing clinical guidelines and procedures, but seeks to replace the costly, often time-consuming process that involves a clinician working with pen and paper to screen patients. The app is available internationally via healthcare licenses and third party partnerships.

“We are addressing a critical challenge in healthcare by solving how we assess mental health, specifically the cognitive and emotional function of patients on a large scale despite limited budgets and insufficient numbers of trained specialists,” said Savonix founder Dr. Mylea Charvat in a statement.

Charvat is a translational neuroscientist and entrepreneur with Ph.Ds from Stanford and Palo Alto University. She was inspired to move out of the clinical and academic setting in order to make cognitive screens easy and affordable.

“Savonix has developed mobile tools that utilize critical cognitive data to better understand patient’s health, identify those at risk via Health Risk Assessments and improve outcomes at the individual and systems level in healthcare – all while saving time and money,” Charvat said.

Savonix Mobile tests across multiple cognitive domains, including instant verbal memory, focus, impulse control, spatial memory and emotion identification. The offering is more than a digitized version of gold standard cognitive tests, the company states, since cognition can be a major predictor of outcomes in a variety of disorders including diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

After a test is given, Savonix delivers personalized results and recommendations to help improve areas that may be lacking, and the data in the app can help clinicians predict the type of behavior that could impact treatment plans.

The company’s website gives examples of a few different people, including one that demonstrates how mild cognitive impairment can negatively impact self-care in chronic conditions.  The example given is of a person with diabetes who was falling behind in managing their condition. Using the Savonix’s test, it was determined they were operating on below average working memory and attention and thus needed their care plan modified with more at-home support.

Last December, the company raised $1.5 million in seed funding, and its current license holders include Fitango Health, NYU and CUNY.

“Traditional cognitive testing is a lengthy and inefficient process,” Dr. Dov Biran, CEO of Fitango Health said in a statement. “With Savonix we have found a simple and cost-effective way to gauge cognitive function as well as organize and store this data at the population level.”