As the population in the United States ages, cognitive health software development continues to attract growing attention from established healthcare providers and startup companies seeking to create new software products. At Ayoka, we’ve served clients that come to us with highly innovative ideas for solutions that will help them with early detection, disease management, and more. We’re fortunate to bring an extensive background in medical software development to the table to help healthcare organizations achieve these goals.
Here are some real-life examples of how the right software can improve care for an entire generation of patients.
Old Fashioned Mental Health Testing May Miss Warning Signs
- Head Trauma
Cognitive impairment is a common symptom for a range of medical conditions including Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and head trauma. Routine screening for signs of cognitive deterioration are intended to be a regular part of annual physical exams for senior patients. This proactive approach helps detect mental deficits as early as possible and increases the chance of successful intervention.
With this in mind, Medicare added a new benefit in 2011, called the Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) [HCPCS codes G0438 or G0439]. This wellness visit requires an assessment to discover if a patient has a cognitive impairment. While the legislation did not specify which cognitive testing product to use, the Alzheimer’s Association brought together healthcare experts to develop Algorithm for Assessment of Cognition. This algorithm incorporates data from a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) and recommends processes for observing patients and performing more structured procedures and queries for cognitive evaluation.
However, the lack of standardized control over cognitive testing procedures may mean that not all patients receive the same level of care. Manual data collection (with pencil and paper) also makes it difficult to collect and use screening results in a meaningful way on a large scale. Looking for patterns and trends that could point to emerging cognitive issues are unfeasible when screening is inconsistent and results are not digitally stored. In addition, there are well over a dozen cognitive assessment tools in use in the VA healthcare system; entrepreneurs have found several recurring limitations with the current tools. Limitations include difficulties in administering tests, inconsistent recordkeeping of procedures to consistently score test results, tedious processes to measure cognitive functions, and biases in language, education, or culture.
Mobile Delivery of Cognitive Tests Provides a Solution
Companies see these as problems that can be solved with web application software or a mobile app. Through the creation of a mobile application to deliver a battery of cognitive tests in digital format, results are delivered directly to a Web-enabled relational database complete with analytics and reporting functions. By imprinting processes within the software, test protocols can be automated and controlled for consistent administration. Mobile devices have also allowed Ayoka’s team to use the speaker and microphone to provide instructions and store responses in languages (e.g. Spanish as spoken in Mexico) appropriate to the patient.
Outcomes of this approach include:
- Making it fast and simple for providers to administer tests in any setting
- Giving non-specialists such as family physicians, NPs, and internists the ability to perform initial screening (increasing patient access to care)
- Supporting easy, centralized data storage across many healthcare facilities
- Enabling data aggregation, data mining, and advanced analytics to detect trends and identify at-risk patients
- Increasing the chances of early detection and improving response to therapies
These aren’t far-fetched ideas. These are real-life examples of applications that Ayoka has developed.
Cognitive Health Software Development Delivers Ongoing Benefits
At Ayoka, we help companies apply software to meet complex clinical initiatives. Ayoka’s founder, Eknauth Persaud, offers his perspective on the importance of creating this kind of forward-thinking medical software. “This mobile medical testing platform has huge potential for ongoing growth since more tests can be added over time to serve a broader patient population. Our clients have created opportunities for providers to offer better care for hundreds of thousands of individuals and families through software. It’s exciting to be part of a project that can make such a big difference in the healthcare field.”
Do you have a medical software concept that could advance our understanding of a disease or even revolutionize patient care? Ayoka is here to help you make that idea into a reality. Contact us today to begin exploring the possibilities.