Cambridge Cognition Holdings plc, (AIM: COG), which specialises in cognitive assessment technologies including those enabling the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, announces a new partnership with London-based design and research agency Ctrl Group to produce novel digital health applications for new markets with prototype products expected in the second half of 2016.
Mental ill health is the world's largest cause of disability and economic loss. In the UK alone, one in four adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem each year. With an estimated half a billion people affected worldwide, the cost to global economies is on course to exceed $6 trillion per annum by 2030.
Common mental health disorders such as dementia, depression and anxiety are characterised by symptoms that can fluctuate regularly, which until now has created difficulties for researchers and healthcare professionals as infrequent assessments in controlled settings are unable to reflect a patient's health between visits and in everyday life.
By engaging with individuals through wearable and smart devices the new technology being developed will provide a richer and more natural profile of mental health to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of cognitive disorders; helping people to lead fuller, more active lives and dramatically reduce global healthcare costs.
Under the terms of the partnership, digital health products are being designed and developed enabling near-user cognitive testing on wearable and smart devices. More meaningful cognitive data will enable healthcare practitioners to detect mental health risk factors earlier, reduce the likelihood of relapse and, by tracking daily activity, help individuals to better understand and manage their cognitive health in a way that products such as Fitbit® have for physical health. For pharmaceutical companies, understanding the real world impact of interventions will support clinical trials of drug development candidates and marketed treatments for chronic diseases.
The new range of products will be licensed initially to pharmaceutical partners and healthcare providers through relationships established by both Cambridge Cognition and Ctrl Group.
Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Cognition, Dr Steven Powell commented: "We are excited to be advancing our healthcare technologies into new products with partners who have synergistic technical skills to meet the growing needs of our pharmaceutical customers and address large non-clinical markets. The move to near-user cognitive measures on consumer electronics marks a significant step for Cambridge Cognition in realising the Company's aim to become the world leader in cognitive healthcare technologies."
Co-founder of Ctrl Group, Ben Fehnert added: "We see a huge advantage in being able to understand cognition in daily life through wearable and smart technologies and Ctrl Group are delighted to be working with Cambridge Cognition to make this happen."