In June 2016, I joined a medical start up team called Memento Dx and was on-boarded as the group's lead product designer. However, since October 2015, the team has been aiming to address the critical need for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease in primary care settings. Our team has consulted with primary care physicians (PCPs), Alzheimer’s experts, patients, caregivers, and community advocates to better understand the scope and pain points of all stakeholders. The biggest reported concerns were the exorbitant amount of time spent making an accurate diagnosis and the long wait times to see specialists. Neurologists believed that PCPs had to act as a first line of defense for accurately assessing patients’ cognitive abilities. Health professionals suggested if PCPs had tools to better distinguish “worried wells” – individuals concerned about normal changes in memory with age – from patients who have pathological dementia, referrals would be more accurate, diagnosis times would be reduced, and patient outcomes and clinical throughput would improve. PCPs reaffirmed this concern, acknowledging their own lack of expertise in diagnosing early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Even with a tentative diagnosis and patient referral, PCPs had little knowledge of support groups, disease management practices, or appropriate patient and family counsel.
Our solution is Memento: a software suite that unites the diagnostic tools of the clinic with the reach of technology. Memento is the first of its kind to digitize the two-part holistic exam, a subjective collateral source interview and objective neuropsychometric testing, given by experts in leading clinics across the country. Using the same gold-standard clinical observation tools, we encapsulate the diagnostic utility of the specialty care exam in the form of a digitized app. This technology aims to empower PCPs with the expertise to confidently diagnose patients and refer them to specialists.
To realize our solution, we identified the following specific goals:
1. Develop, test, and deploy a digitized collateral source survey that captures the same (or more) diagnostic information as compared to a collateral source interview with a dementia specialist
2. Develop, test, and deploy a digitized cognitive assessment that captures the same (or more) diagnostic information as compared to a clinically-administered neuropsychometric test (refer to "cognitive assessment" in menu for more information)
3. Enable immediate diagnostics using machine learning algorithms to detect risk factors
4. Deploy Memento’s software suite nationally to Alzheimer’s stakeholders at the academic, clinical, and community levels
• Diagrams - Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop