ATLANTA, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Georgia Institute of Technology researchers say they have developed a home test for adults to screen themselves for early signs of dementia.
Georgia Tech's ClockMe system -- a paper-and-pencil Clock Drawing Test commonly used to screen for cognitive impairment -- eliminates the paper test and computerizes the test into two components: the ClockReader Application and the ClockAnalyzer Application.
"Our ClockMe System helps older adults identify early signs of impairment, while allowing clinicians to quickly analyze the test results and gain valuable insight into the patient's thought processes," project leader Ellen Yi-Luen Do, a professor in Georgia Tech's Colleges of Computing and Architecture, said in a statement.
Using ClockReader, the participant is given a specific time and instructed to draw a clock with numbers and the correct minute and hour hands using a stylus and computer.
The sketch is emailed to a clinician who uses the ClockAnalyzer Application to score the test, which checks for 13 traits such as correct placement of numbers and hands without extra markings.
People with cognitive impairment frequently draw clocks with missing or extra numbers and digits are sometimes drawn outside of the clock, the researchers said.
In addition to scoring automatically and consistently, ClockAnalyzer records the duration of the test and the time between each stroke. The software can also replay the drawing in real-time, allowing a clinician to watch the drawing being created to observe any behavior abnormality, Do said.
The findings were published in the Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments.