Clinicians‘ FAQs

Browse F.A.Q. Topics

  • Why don’t you provide the CANS-MCI over the Internet?
    We are sometimes asked why we don't provide the CANS-MCI over the Internet.  The answer is that validated and reliable cognitive testing must be performed in a controlled environment.  To see a full discussion of this issue refer to our blog post Concerning Cognitive Testing over the Internet.
  • What is needed to start doing business with you?
    In order to create a customized, facility-specific installer we will need the following information:
      1. The compatible Windows hardware you plan to use (see our recommendations)
      2. The Physician Enrollment Form (PEF) filled out and submitted.
  • Why are you better than other computerized cognitive tests?
    Other computer-aided tests need a trained clinician to be present, require keyboard and mouse for patients to use, can be intimidating, and are hard for patients to follow. Some competing tests take over an hour to do and generate unclear reports. They do not ask about education or other relevant aspects of patients' backgrounds and do not interpret the results in the context of risks such as depression, alcohol consumption, head injury, or other contributing factors.
  • Why should I test if I can’t treat this person?
    Options for treatment continue to improve but all require early identification and treatment. Doctors may not be able to treat the symptoms of dementia dramatically, but they can stall the progression of symptoms and help in making a plan of action for the family and for the facility that will be keeping tabs on a patient's ability to function, thereby avoiding accidents and preventing medication errors. Early warning might also help the family defer and/or arrange assisted living placement in a timely manner.
  • Who is Screen Inc and how were these tests developed?
    Screen, Inc. is the leader in computerized cognitive testing. Starting in 1999 the CANS-MCI was developed over a seven-year period and subjected to rigorous usability, reliability, and validity research studies, supported by grants from the Veterans Administration and the National Institute on Aging. Research articles are available upon request and much of the same information is summarized in this website.
  • What do we need to make the tests work?
    Any computer with Windows 10 and a touch-capable monitor, located in a private room without distractions. We have guidelines for touch screen tablets and we can recommend the best external touch screen monitors for computers that are not pre-equipped with a touch screen. You must have professional expertise following up test results with recommendations and handling concerns that patients or families have about the meaning of distressing results.
  • Does this comply with HIPAA requirements?
    Yes, the only information we collect is a partial birth date (month and year) and the person’s first initial, sex, and years of education. We do not collect any other data except the code the office uses that lets them identify the patient later when they receive the cognitive report. The data is de-identified at the source.
  • Who or what do you compete against?
    Most doctors use the tedious and sometimes embarrassing MMSE (Mini Mental State Examination) or MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) tests designed to detect more advanced degrees of cognitive decline. These also require a trained clinician to oversee the testing and can be intimidating to the patient.
  • How much time do the tests take?
    The full version of the test battery will take your patient about 30 minutes. The Short version of the test battery will take about 20 minutes. Untrained staff members have only to spend about 2 minutes to log the patient in. Clinician-created cognitive ability reports, with context assessments, are returned within an hour of test completion.
  • How do you charge?
    We directly bill the clinician monthly based on a total number of completed tests. No advance or minimum purchases are required.  There are no charges when a patient cannot complete enough tests for an accurate assessment.
  • What kind of burden is on staff to run your tests?
    It takes just about two minutes to set up the CANS-MCI for each patient. It does not require any staff training in test administration or scoring. The assessment portions of the tests are fully self-administered (adjusting automatically to patients' cognitive abilities and limitations). Your staff is free to continue with other work and do not need to remain with the patient during testing.
  • What are the dangers of not seeking early cognitive testing?
    Of course, many patients with mild signs of dementia will never develop Alzheimer’s and their symptoms will subside as depression and other conditions are addressed. However, the most common dangers associated with mild cognitive impairment, regardless of the cause, are failure to seek medical treatment, financial chaos, falls, fires, victimization by scam artists, and medication non-compliance. The medication non-compliance effects upon elderly people with mild cognitive impairments can result in increased hospitalizations and increased risk of stroke.
  • Can I see independent verification of your claims?
    To see an independent review of all the available computerized test competition, see this article. The CANS-MCI is the only test that receives a positive reference for its exceptional usability with elderly patients.
  • What are we able to do with the tests?
    This test battery is designed to help every clinician, from the family physician who sees the patient routinely to the specialist that may encounter the patient after a referral.  The tests track the current status and exact rate of change in a patient’s cognitive abilities and gives the earliest possible “heads up” alert to the possibility of decline, whatever the cause.
  • How do patients feel about the tests?
    The CANS-MCI is so user friendly that virtually all patients who can see and can touch a screen with a finger can take the tests without assistance and emerge from testing proud of their success at “using the computer”.
  • What are the benefits of this kind of testing?
    Tracking the current status of a patient’s cognitive abilities provides the earliest possible detection of decline. The biological and genetic markers of high risk may precede active symptoms by many years, so instead of detecting a patient’s future propensity to acquire Alzheimer’s, the CAN-MCI detects the first pre-Alzheimer’s symptoms of decline.