Using Open Technology Platform to Help Develop Community Resource for Mobile Cognitive Tracking

November 13, 2018

Using Open Technology Platform to Help Develop Community Resource for Mobile Cognitive Tracking

New awards from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) will fund two independent projects to develop a suite of mobile cognitive tests that will be distributed via Sage’s technology platforms for integration into clinical research studies. Designing these remote cognitive assessments on a common technical platform provides a single point of entry for the broader community of researchers, who will be able to benefit from and contribute to the resource more rapidly and efficiently.

Remote cognitive assessments allow researchers to better understand the progression and variation in cognition in the context of daily living, an approach that is not possible with traditional tests performed in the clinic. Importantly, the research teams, led by investigators at Northwestern University and Penn State University are committed to developing the suite of tools on a common, open platform to enable an extensive and dynamic norming framework that will ensure that researchers understand the impact of context on test performance. This will be repeated across at least a half dozen research studies.

Dr. Richard Gerson, of Northwestern University, is leading a consortium of researchers from several institutions including Harvard University and University of California, San Francisco, in the development of the MobileToolbox library of iOS and Android cognitive assessments. Dr. Martin Silwinski, of Penn State University, is leading a second consortium of researchers from several institutions, including Washington University and University of Southern California, to develop accurate and more sensitive measurements for detecting subtle cognitive changes during preclinical states of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

Read news article from Penn State University

“By performing this work in the open domain, we create a dynamic resource to share cognitive tests in a manner where the community can independently evaluate their validation and norming criteria,” said Dr. Lara Mangravite, president, Sage Bionetworks. “In this way, clinical researchers will be able to easily identify and deploy cognitive tools that are optimally useful for their own research needs.”