Dementia assessment iPad App launched for health professionals

ACEmobile is a new iPad-based tool that assists doctors and nurses to conduct dementia assessments. The iPad-based tool guides the user through the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE-III) - a paper and pencil dementia screening tool commonly used by specialists. The App removes the need for clinicians to learn the ACE-III manual and also automatically calculates patients’ scores and creates a report for their medical records.

The creators have designed the App to make dementia assessment easier and more reliable for health professionals globally. The research team will collect information from each assessment conducted using the app, with a plan to improve the sensitivity of ACEmobile for earlier dementia diagnosis and in assessment of the effect of new medications as they are tested. One of the major factors holding back the development of new treatments for dementia is the relative insensitivity of currently used instruments.

Professor John Hodges from Neuroscience Research Australia, who designed the original ACE-III test says:

“Our vision to provide a computerised version of the ACE, while adhering to the philosophy of creating tests for clinicians at no cost, has been realised. To see ACE developed into an on-line medical tool means greater access to early and decisive diagnoses for all people word-wide. A diagnosis can now be made anywhere there is an internet connection, which is particularly important in parts of the world where resources are limited.

“The Plymouth team [based in the UK] have done a great job producing such an attractive and user-friendly app which I’m sure will find wide usage.”

Dr Rupert Noad, Consultant Neuropsychologist at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, says;

 “ACE-III is a great assessment tool, but as with many such tools which are paper-based, it runs the risk of human error and miscalculation. By producing the ACEmobile app we have reduced this risk and created a tool that can be used by the wider dementia care team.”

The ACEmobile provides a new way for clinicians to assess dementia symptoms, and if successful, could allow greater scope for early intervention. According to Professor Hodges, this foray into e-health is a step forward in global health care.

“Not all elderly patients with suspected dementia can be screened in specialists’ centres particularly with increasing pressure on healthcare services around the world. Our hope is that that like-minded clinicians and academics will value the use of this tool in their own practice and look for opportunities to support its continued development and evolution into the future.”

Listen to Professor Hodges speak about this new App here with Neura science communicator Siobhan Moylan.


This article is based on a Neura media release - http://www.neura.edu.au/news-events/news/free-app-support-assessment-dem...

Author note: There are a number of different tools available to detect dementia and the ACEmobile app is one of those tools. It is for use by registered health professionals only. If you are worried about your own or someone else’s memory please consult your doctor. You can phone the National Dementia Helpline for more information about dementia on 1800 100 500.


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