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UK general practitioners use iPad to diagnose dementia


Macworld UK reports that some physicians in the UK are using an iPad-based app to help detect the early signs of dementia.

The Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is promoting the use of the CANTABmobile system to help improve dementia diagnosis rates.

CANTABmobile enables GPs to test a patient's episodic memory through an easy to use ten-minute cognitive assessment. Of the 21 GP practices in the Guildford and Waverley region, 19 have been provided with iPads and the software to assess patients who have concerns about their memory loss.

A press release on the matter notes that the app is particularly useful in detecting signs of dementia when the early signs of memory loss are subtle and thus harder to diagnose with traditional cognitive testing.

The application is based on neuropsychological tests conducted at Cambridge University and gives physicians access to testing methods that were previously only "available to pharmaceutical companies and academia for specialist trials and research."

A video highlighting the benefits of the software can be seen below.

The app is currently only available to healthcare providers in the UK. If you'd like to learn more about the app and the science behind it, the CANTABmobile website has a lot of interesting information worth looking over.

It's worth noting that this isn't the first time we've seen the iPad being used to help physicians conduct medical testing.

Back in April, for example, we reported that the FDA had given the green light to Vital Art and Science Inc. to market software which enables users with degenerative eye conditions to assess their condition, track disease progression and monitor any significant changes in visual function. The app is by no means a replacement for visiting the doctor, but provides patients with a means to more closely monitor their condition from home and alert a health care professional when something seems amiss.

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