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Medtech Impact on Wellness

One in two people around the world who have dementia will never receive a diagnosis for it, and those that do will likely receive it too late for existing treatments to be helpful.

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This is a problem that’s not only depriving patients of quality time, but also costing significant amounts of money due to earlier needs for residential care.

As it currently stands, testing for dementia usually begins only after a patient or their friends and family members notice cognitive impairment, usually in the form of forgetfulness.

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Once memory problems set in, however, it’s usually too late to slow the progression of the disease. In addition, the current tests designed to identify and help a clinician diagnose dementia rely on rudimentary, pen-and-paper tests that depend heavily on self-reporting. Cognetivity is a company that’s offering a new type of test that could change all of this.

COO of Cognetivity, Tom Sawyer, explains that much like blood pressure or cholesterol check, their test can be completed as part of a routine physical exam. The premise of the test is quite simple and involves showing patients different images for a short duration and then prompting them to say something about the content of the images they’re shown. Capable of detecting very small changes in cognitive function and mild incompetencies that no test before it has been able to, it can identify pre-symptomatic stages of dementia 10 to 15 years before most people would receive a diagnosis today. This significantly earlier detection allows for the implementation of behavioral and lifestyle changes, mental exercises, and some medications in order to delay the progression of the disease and the need for residential care.

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