Q&A: Cognivue’s O'Neill discusses retail’s cognitive testing opportunity

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Q&A: Cognivue’s O'Neill discusses retail’s cognitive testing opportunity

By David Salazar - 01/08/2020

Cognitive testing could be the next frontier of pharmacy clinical services — at least that’s what the folks at Cognivue are hoping. The company says it has the first Food and Drug Administration-cleared computerized test for signs of cognitive decline that might require physician attention. 

DSN spoke to Cognivue president and CEO Tom O’Neill about the opportunity his company’s product creates for pharmacies looking to build out their clinical and diagnostic offerings with a negligible impact on space. 

Cognivue president and CEO Tom O'Neill

Drug Store News: Can you tell us a little bit about the company?
Tom O’Neill:
Cognivue is an innovative healthcare company devoted to elevating the standard and availability of cognitive testing to help improve the lives of patients and caregivers by providing early and accurate testing for proactive intervention. The Cognivue technology, developed within the neuroscience lab at the University of Rochester, is covered by more than 17 patents and is the first FDA-cleared, self-administered computerized test of cognitive ability. Over the past 18 months, we have been working tirelessly in preparing for the launch of our gen-4 device with the Cognivue Thrive test for pharmacies. This new portable device weighs only 8 lbs. and is about the size of a laptop computer. It is ideal for both in-pharmacy use and for conducting tests at health fairs and other out-of-store events.

Drug Store News: What opportunity exists at retail for cognitive testing?
Offering in-store cognitive testing is a tremendous opportunity for retailers to expand their clinical services.  Alzheimer’s and dementia are the No. 1 disease concerns of consumers, yet today access to cognitive testing is limited. Even primary care physicians are challenged to conduct cognitive testing given the number of patients they need to see each day.  

Importantly, early detection allows for some forms of cognitive impairment, such as impairment caused by drug interaction and dosage, vitamin B12 deficiency, sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension and other common conditions that can be treated or managed. Counseling patients on proactive steps they can take now can help patients achieve optimal cognitive abilities. Pharmacists are ideally positioned to provide cognitive testing services given their high involvement with patients and ever-
expanding role as healthcare providers. 

Drug Store News: How does a Cognivue Thrive test work?
When a patient comes to the pharmacy area requesting a Cognivue Thrive test, they will be directed to the consultation room, where they will be seated in front of the Cognivue device. The self-administered test begins with a two-minute introductory instructional video followed by the five minute test. Once completed, their personalized report, a Dear Doctor letter, and a one-page summary of our Cogniwell program will be printed in the pharmacy. The pharmacist will then have the opportunity to interact with the patient, reviewing the results and the recommendations in the Cogniwell program, which includes proactive steps the patient can take to optimize their cognitive abilities.

Importantly, Cognivue is simple to implement in store with minimal staff involvement. The Cognivue program includes online pharmacist education and certification, along with marketing materials to promote this clinical service in store and in your community.

Drug Store News: How would offering Cognivue help strengthen pharmacies’ wellness proposition in the eyes of patients?
Cognivue allows pharmacies to expand their clinical services and wellness proposition when it matters most. Cognitive decline, ranging from mild cognitive impairment to dementia, can have profound implications for an individual’s overall health and well-being, as well as for their family. Already nearly 6 million Americans suffer from dementia and more than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for their loved ones suffering from some form of dementia. Incorporating Cognivue into their pharmacies enables pharmacists to play a central role in helping with early detection and prevention strategies.