Researchers developed CognoSpeak, an innovative AI tool that aims to streamline the diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Utilizing virtual agents to engage patients in cognitive tests and analyzing their language and speech patterns, the tool provides a quick and efficient assessment.
CognoSpeak is an advanced system revolutionizing the way patients are engaged in conversations and memory tests. Utilizing a virtual agent, this cutting-edge tool harnesses the power of AI to detect early signs of dementia and memory disorders by analyzing language and speech patterns. Its implementation in general practice allows doctors to effortlessly refer patients with memory concerns to CognoSpeak, where they can conveniently take the test from the comfort of their own homes via a web browser. The results are promptly transmitted back to the GP, who can then decide if further assessment at a memory clinic is necessary. Remarkably, early trials have demonstrated that CognoSpeak matches the accuracy of traditional pen-and-paper tests, successfully distinguishing Alzheimer’s patients from those with healthy cognitive function 90% of the time.
The development of this groundbreaking system has been spearheaded by experts at the esteemed University of Sheffield. Presently, CognoSpeak is being trialed with 700 participants hailing from memory clinics across the United Kingdom. The overarching objective is to expedite assessments, reduce waiting times, and ensure prompt access to specialized care. To fuel this ambition, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has generously awarded CognoSpeak a £1.4 million grant. Collaborating alongside Therapy Box and the NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Cooperative (D4D), the research team is devoted to constructing an accessible and dependable tool for all users, including ethnic minority communities and non-native English speakers. In light of the escalating number of individuals affected by dementia in the UK, CognoSpeak stands as a much-needed solution to streamline assessments and enhance the quality of patient care.