Dementia Australia has launched a consumer mobile app that can help people monitor changes in cognition over time and share the data with their GP.
The app includes games that have been adapted from validated cognitive testing and can generate a confidential PDF report of results that can be shared with the person’s GP.
BrainTrack was developed by Dementia Australia with the Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A²I²) at Deakin University with funding from the Australian government.
The idea behind BrainTrack is to help people to privately monitor and better understand suspected changes in their cognition over time.
Dementia Australia says it is not intended to replace a formal cognitive assessment, but it can support the early identification of cognitive changes over time that may warrant further testing with a GP.
To start using the app, users are prompted to ‘visit’ an individual country each month. They then play a series of games relating to that country, with challenges such as reading maps, collecting bags and calculating expenses. Scores are given for each round of challenges.
Users are prompted to log in monthly, play the games and receive data on their cognition. The data is then provided as a report that can be shared with the person’s GP, to initiate formal cognitive assessment.
Dementia Australia honorary medical advisor Michael Woodward, the director and Clinical Head of aged care research and director of the memory clinic at Austin Health, said the right support at the right time can enable people with dementia to maintain their independence and functional capacity for as long as possible.
“Health and allied health professionals play an important role in helping people living with dementia to live well for longer,” Associate Professor Woodward said.
“By assessing physical and cognitive issues they can provide interventions to support the maintenance of current strengths and capacities, improve skill acquisition and promote recovery, enablement and rehabilitation.
“The more GPs and healthcare professionals know and understand about dementia and how Dementia Australia’s support and programs, including post-diagnostic services, can wrap around their patient, the better the system and health care experience will be for all.”
BrainTrack is available for download for free through the Apple App Store or Google Play.