Quest Diagnostics launches cognitive health assessment app

By Heather Mack
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Diagnostic information company Quest Diagnostics has launched an iPad-based cognitive assessment tool to aid doctors in diagnosis, assessment and care management of people with cognitive dysfunction.

The app, called CogniSense, was made available on iTunes following a 300-patient pilot study with Long Island ACO Primary PartnerCare. Dr. Edward I. Ginns, Quest Diagnostic’s medical director in neurology, said the app’s features make cognitive assessment easier and more efficient in a primary care setting than conventional, paper-based assessments.

“CogniSense addresses a gap in cognitive health assessment today – a lack of digital technology that seamlessly integrates results into a patient’s electronic health records to track cognitive function and disease progression over time,” Ginns said in a statement.

To use CogniSense, the patient data must first be transferred over to the app via Quest Diagnostic’s EHR platform, Care360. Next, the test goes through assessment questions that are a digitized version of the Memory Orientation Assessment Test (MOST), which looks at the health of a patient’s brain through the use of memory recall techniques, information comprehension tools, and tablet-based clock drawing that provides assessment of patient’s memory, orientation, sequential memory and time. CogniSense is scored electronically, providing baseline and progressive scores that can be stored in Care360. Once established as part of the patient’s medical record, clinicians can track and monitor results from the test over time.

The app will be used to provide feedback on a variety of cognitive health concerns. On the CogniSense website, case studies of three different examples – alcohol-induced cognitive decline, concussion and dementia – were featured, although more conditions could also be assessed.

"Studies show that cognition plays a huge role in how patients take care of all the management of their health," Dr. Harry Jacob, CMO for Primary PartnerCare, which piloted the study, said in a statement. "That is why effective digital tools for the assessment of patients at risk for dementia are essential for an ACO."

Dr. Jay G. Wohlegemuth, Quest’s senior vice president and chief medical officer, said the app represents a type of clinical testing that Quest calls “integrated diagnostics,” which will streamline the process of tracking and storing data on cognitive health.

"Integrated diagnostics will be increasingly important to neurological disease diagnosis, particularly dementia, given the dearth of evidence-based guidelines and reliable technologies for facilitating assessment and diagnosis for the globally aging population,” Wohlegemuth said in a statement.