Cambridge Cognition showcases wearable which tracks mental health


New wearable tech software could deepen understanding of mental health issues by measuring direct responses to treatment in real-time.

Cambridge Cognition and Ctrl Group are to showcase a prototype of their Cognition Kit software at the Neurotech Investing and Partnering Conference in Boston, Massachusetts today.

Cognition Kit is a software application that can be installed across a variety of wearables, and tracks an individual's mood and cognitive performance moment-by-moment. The software adapts and attunes to the individual patient over time, and factors in influences such as sleep, stress levels, physical activity and the effectiveness of medication. From this data, it can then create a profile to help increase understanding of mental health and cognitive wellbeing for the user and healthcare providers.



The Cognition Kit - seen here being used on a Microsoft Band wearable

The band measures mood in real-time, allowing patients to track and manage their own mental health. The makers also note that the technology can be used in clinical trial settings to gain a real-world understanding of clinical interventions for chronic diseases.

The healthcare wearables trend - sometimes known as the 'Quantified Self' movement has exploded in the last few years.

Companies such as Apple, Google and U.S. brand, Fitbit have led the way in consumer health wearables - though doubts about the accuracy and usefulness of these devices have been raised.

Nevertheless, the potential of wearables is huge – especially for any commercial company which can prove that the technology can improve compliance or ultimately outcomes for patients.

A forecast by Mordor Intelligence says the global market for wearable medical devices will exceed $7.8bn by 2020, up from $3.3bn in 2015, driven by projects in the healthcare sector and rising chronic disease rates.

Last month, US health insurer UnitedHealthcare unveiled its own wearable solution, the Trio Tracker, a wristband that measures physical activity and rewards users with lower insurance premiums or cash sums.

Dr Jenny Barnett, Director of Healthcare Innovation at Cambridge Cognition said: "For patients with a wide range of brain health conditions, mood and cognitive performance can be an early indicator of change in their condition or response to treatment. Cognition Kit will make it easy for patients and doctors to understand how daily changes in factors like stress, sleep, and exercise effect how we feel and how well we are able to concentrate, remember and make good decisions so that we can take action earlier and better manage our own health and wellbeing".

Cambridge Cognition launched its first device in 2013. CANTAB Mobile is a Class II medical device which measures the cognitive performance of over 22,000 patients and detect the early signs of Alzheimer's Disease.

Andrew McConaghie

7 April, 2016