Bedfordshire CCG to use CANTAB Mobile to test for dementia Image: Cambridge Cognition

Tool to assess older patients concerned about their memory

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is introducing a new memory assessment tool into GP practices.

CANTAB Mobile, an iPad-based device, is designed to improve dementia diagnosis. It will be used to assess older patients concerned about their memory or have an increased risk of dementia.

The tool will allow clinicians to differentiate between the minor cognitive impairment that can suggest the onset of dementia and other causes of memory loss, such as depression.

Practice staff will conduct a ten-minute assessment and an immediate report is produced by the software. After a review, the GP can reassure patients their memory loss is not due to dementia or refer them for further investigation.

Local GP, Dr Roshan Jayalath, said the new device will save lives:

“Although currently there’s no cure for dementia, delaying its onset by even five years would halve the number of deaths associated with the condition.

“Early diagnosis is critical in preventing these deaths and the CANTAB Mobile memory assessment tool will help us achieve this.”

Developed by Cambridge Cognition, a neuroscience technology company, CANTAB Mobile combines touch screen questionnaires and a visual matching pattern test to assess cognitive performance. NHS testing found it to be 99% accurate for negative dementia diagnoses. 

Heather Moulder, BCCG Clinical Chair, said:

“Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is committed to investing in evidence-based and cost-effective technology that delivers better health services and improves patient care.”