Scientific Background of the CANS-MCI

Scientific Background of the CANS-MCI

The CANS-MCI was designed to meet a unique set of goals


Accuracy, Sensitivity, Specificity, Usability, Readability, Clinical Context

The CANS-MCI (Computer-Administered Neuropsychological Screen for Mild Cognitive Impairment) was developed to solve a problem: there were no tools available that could accurately and economically detect the cognitive changes most predictive of further abnormal decline in adults and the elderly.  The most common type of decline in need of early detection was toward Alzheimer’s disease.  Therefore the CANS-MCI was based upon a wide array of previous research concerning the changes most predictive of Alzheimer’s.

Although the accuracy of measurement receives the bulk of attention in decisions about the value of various tests, accuracy overlaps with concerns about cost and other aspects of “usability” for medical staff and patients.  The CANS-MCI was designed to meet the cost challenges of training medical office staff and paying for their time, while also providing the most pleasant experience possible to patients and designing the clearest presentation of results to doctors.

Once those challenges had been addressed it became clear that three additional obstacles needed attention:

  • the need to provide results in the context of behaviors such as depression or alcohol abuse
  • the need to overcome test reliability calamities caused by unskilled or inconsistent test administration
  • the need to adjust the testing process when impairments make testing too difficult

The CANS-MCI became commercially available when all of these problems had been solved. Details are provided in this document: Scientific Background of the CANS-MCI.  (The document will open as a PDF in a new browser window.)

Emory Hill, Ph.D.
Founder of Screen Inc., Dr. Hill has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo. Later he completed an Informatics Fellowship (post-PhD) at the VA where he studied interface design, multimedia programming, user resistance, evaluation of adaptations to new medical record systems, and the implementation of automated medical records. A trained psychologist and psychometric specialist, Emory was in private practice for nearly 20 years. Before that, he served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at SUNY, Brockport, NY.