Quest Diagnostics Launches Digital Tool, CogniSense, to Assess Dementia
Quest Diagnostics has announced the release of CogniSense, its digital cognitive assessment tool to assist physicians in diagnosing, assessing, and managing the care of people with cognitive dysfunction.
Quest says its design objective for CogniSense was to overcome the various limitations inherent in conventional, paper-based cognitive assessment, such as the inability to compile easily trackable data over time or integrate information with patients’ electronic health records (EHRs).
“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,” Edward I. Ginns, MD, PhD, a professor of neurology at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, and medical director, neurology, for Quest Diagnostics, said in a press release. “CogniSense’s features enhance the efficiency and ease of cognitive assessment especially in a primary care setting.”
CogniSense incorporates a digitized version of the Memory Orientation Assessment Test (MOST), a protocol in which memory recall techniques, information comprehension tests, and tablet-based clock drawing are used by healthcare practitioners to assess the cognitive health status of patients’ memory, orientation, sequential memory, and perception of time. Quest, citing studies involving more than 3,500 people, says MOST has been shown to provide greater sensitivity and specificity than the standard, paper-based minimental state examination (MMSE) and MiniCog tests.
Available as an app for the Apple iPad, CogniSense tests a patient’s memory, orientation, and executive organization in less than 10 minutes, and generates cognitive score and PDF report that is stored digitally in Quest’s Care360 cloud portal, and pushed to supported electronic medical records (EMRs). Qualified healthcare providers administer the test to patients in an office setting, with a per-test charge automatically billed to their Quest Diagnostics account, or paid by credit card (the test currently costs $14.99). CogniSense testing is administered and scored electronically, yielding an initial baseline score which, along with subsequent progressive scores, can be stored in Care360 along with any of nearly 600 electronic health records that connect to Quest.
Once baseline CogniSense test data is added to the patient’s medical record, results from ongoing periodic testing enable clinicians to track and monitor the patient’s cognitive function over time. A valid National Provider Identifier (NPI) number and a Quest Diagnostics Care360 account (available through the app) are required to utilize the CogniSense application.
“Studies show that cognition plays a huge role in how patients take care of all the management of their health,” Harry Jacob, MD, an internist and CMO for Primary PartnerCare, a Long Island, New York, accountable care organization (ACO), said in the Quest release. Citing CogniSense test results of nearly 300 patients, Jacob added: “That is why effective digital tools for the assessment of patients at risk for dementia are essential for an ACO.”
“CogniSense combines Quest’s leadership in neurology laboratory diagnostics and healthcare information technology to represent a new type of clinical testing we call ‘integrated diagnostics,” said Jay G. Wohlgemuth, MD, Quest Diagnostics’ chief medical officer and senior vice president, Research & Development. “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.”
Quest Diagnostics is supporting development of new integrated diagnostics that combine a range of diagnostic tools, such as cognitive assessment, lab testing and imaging, and physicians’ clinical knowledge in dementia detection and diagnosis. In collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco, Memory and Aging Center, Quest is also helping facilitate development of evidence-based standards for dementia screening, diagnosis, and monitoring to improve outcomes and better address public health challenges presented by an aging population.
Quest Diagnostics unveiled CogniSense at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Toronto, Canada, in July. The CogniSense app is available to download from the Apple iTunes Store through this link or by searching for “CogniSense.”
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A Quest Care360 account can be obtained by qualified healthcare providers at no cost at:
Apple App Store