Early Detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) in an At-Home Setting.J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2020; 7(3):171-178.JP
Emerging digital tools have the potential to enable a new generation of qualitative and quantitative assessment of cognitive performance. Moreover, the ubiquity of consumer electronics, such as smartphones and tablets, can be harnessed to support large-scale self-assessed cognitive screening with benefit to healthcare systems and consumers. A wide variety of apps, wearables, and new digital technologies are either available or in development for the detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a risk factor for dementia. Two categories of novel methodologies may be considered: passive technologies (which monitor a user's behavior without active user input) and interactive assessments (which require active user input). Such examinations can be self-administered, supervised by a caregiver, or conducted by an informant at home or outside of a clinical setting. These direct-to-consumer tools have the potential to sidestep barriers associated with cognitive evaluation in primary care, thus improving access to cognitive assessments. Although direct-to-consumer cognitive assessment is associated with its own barriers, including test validation, user experience, and technological concerns, it is conceivable that these issues can be addressed so that a large-scale, self-assessed cognitive evaluation that would represent an initial cognitive screen may be feasible in the future.