Early Detection with Minimal Staff Expense
Physician organizations are facing an increasing number of requests from their patients for memory testing.
Even when seniors begin to have slight memory lapses, which might simply be a sign of aging, they often worry that they “might be coming down with Alzheimer’s.”
To alleviate some of this worry and to provide for early detection and doctor follow-up, many physician organizations are now combining memory screening with annual physical examinations.
We have spent a decade developing tests that are easy for patients to take and for staff to administer. These tests were developed to precisely measure the cognitive domains that are most predictive of MCI and spot trends that allow us to give accurate early warnings. We provide our physician customers with detailed, yet easy-to-understand Physician Reports and unsurpassed customer service. When you look for a specialty testing company to test your patients, we hope you will consider our services.
Sensitivity and Specificity at Low Cost
SCREEN’S COMPREHENSIVE TESTING SERVICE allows busy physicians to completely outsource the memory testing of its patients to Screen Inc., while being kept up-to-date on their patient’s memory skills, and quickly alerted if their patients show sudden declines in cognitive abilities.
How a Testing Session Works
When the patient comes into the doctor’s office for a scheduled cognitive testing, they are greeted by the doctor’s staff, brought to the testing unit, and seated comfortably. The staff person enters the patient identifying number and basic demographic information. The introduction then begins to “talk” to the patient (using recorded audio). It greets the patient, asks if the volume is high enough, if they have their glasses on and are comfortable and ready.
The staff member then leaves the room so the patient can take the Screen test in privacy. The software takes them through some easy examples of touching some targets on the screen, graduating to slightly more complex sequences, so that the patient can get comfortable with the test process. Their privacy (no observing or participating staff) reduces embarrassment and possible errors due by distracting tester actions. The entire test is self-administered. All possible patient errors and delays have been accommodated for in the design of the software (eliminating the need for staff training).
The Testing Process
The computer shows patients various pictures, words and designs and asks them a series of questions and elicits their responses, all registered by single-touch responses. By simply touching the computer monitor to make their choices, the person taking the test works their way through the assessment. When they touch the screen on the last question, the test data are instantly sent to Screen’s headquarters via the Internet, where the test data receives a proprietary statistical analysis and is then passed on to a neuropsychological specialist (MA or PhD) for final scoring. Read our section on the CANS-MCI test battery for more details.
The Cognitive Report
The final physician report details the test’s results on three cognitive domains (memory, symbol fluency and executive function). Additionally, the report provides the likelihood that the patient will be diagnosed with MCI if they were given a full neuropsychological test battery (this probability was the criterion standard used in earlier scientific validation studies).
When doctors review Screen’s Physician Report, they are able to reassure many of their patients that their test results are normal and they have nothing to worry about. Yet, for patients whose test results show some cause for concern, doctors get early warnings that support the need for additional testing and follow-up. That’s exactly what’s supposed to happen in both cases: Screen’s tests provide an enormous service in terms of medical follow-up decisions and the emotional well-being of patients. Read our section on the CANS-MCI cognitive report for more details.
Computer and Software Needs
Most computers capable of running Windows is already capable of running our software. Here are the basics:
- Windows 7, 8 or 10
- USB ports
- Audio hardware and speakers
- Ethernet or WiFi Internet connectivity
- 11.6” to 17” touchscreen display capable of displaying 640 x 480 resolution with preserved aspect ratio
The last point is essential — newer, low-cost computers and tablets sometimes may not be capable of displaying 640 x 480 resolution, or if they can they will do it improperly. If you are unsure of a device’s capability, please contact us for consultation.
Now for some specific suggestions.
If you want to continue using an existing laptop or desktop computer we recommend one particular external touchscreen, based on years of direct experience. It is still being made and it is sturdy and withstands heavy use.
- GVISION L15AX-JA-453G Black 15″ USB 5-wire Resistive Touchscreen LCD Monitor
The downside of this monitor is its price. It’s almost as much as one of the newer convertible 2-in-1 devices.
For portability and ease-of-use we recommend a “convertible”, “hybrid”, or “2-in-1” notebook / laptop, which as of 2017 are plentiful and affordable. Some of these have detachable keyboards. Some can be folded into a standing tent mode, which is perfect for our tests.
There are so many devices in the world of Windows that Screen, Inc. can research only a handful of them. We keep a short list of qualified touchscreen computers, but since hardware availability and prices change often, please contact us for up-to-date recommendations. Let us know if you are considering a particular device and we will be happy to review its specs with you.
If you’re looking for a bargain you can often find refurbished computers online at a discount at Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg and other reputable online stores. We can help you locate a few of these if you request it. Keep in mind that online offers can change day by day. Good deals will come and go, but they’re always popping up again somewhere.
IMPORTANT: Be careful to avoid any device that uses a lower-end video chipset because it may not be capable of displaying 640 x 480 with a preserved aspect ratio. Make sure that the specs clearly state “Intel® HD Graphics 5500”, “Intel® HD Graphics 520”, “Intel® HD Graphics 510”, or “Intel® HD Graphics 515”. The same computer model may be sold with different versions of the Intel graphics chipset.
For example (from early in 2016) here is a listing that clearly describes the needed specs because the description includes “Intel HD Graphics 5500”.
ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-DS71T Laptop Intel Core i7 5500U (2.40 GHz) 8 GB Memory 1 TB HDD Intel HD Graphics 5500 15.6″ Touchscreen Windows 8.1 64-Bit
But here is a listing for what appears to be the same device (ASUS Transformer Book Flip) but it does not include the graphics chipset…
ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-EB31T Intel Core i3-4030U (1.90GHz) 6GB Memory 500GB HDD 15.6″ Touchscreen 2in1 Laptop Windows 8.1 64-bit
It is only by digging deeper into the specs that one discovers the words “Intel HD Graphics 4400”. This is a lower-end chipset that does not preserve aspect ratio at 640 x 480 pixels.
Next, here is an online listing where even the detailed specification includes only the phrase “Intel Graphics”.
Asus – Flip 2-in-1 13.3″ Touch-Screen Laptop – Intel Core i3 – 6GB Memory – 500GB Hard Drive – Aluminum Black
It took extensive online research to discover that the graphics adapter for this device was the “Intel HD Graphics 4400” — again the low-end chipset to be avoided.
Please let us know the device you are considering and we will be happy to review its specs with you.