VideoDoc Ballymore Eustace

VideoDoc reduces dementia diagnosis time to minutes

Pictured: Nurse Orla Power; Sean Fogarty, Fogarty's Quickpick and Post Office Ballymore Eustace; and Mary O Brien, CEO VideoDoc

21 September 2017

Remote GP service VideoDoc is to begin offering consultations for the diagnosis of dementia.

Using technology developed by Nightingale Analytics patients can receive a diagnosis in 30 minutes as opposed to the current model with can take several months. It can also predict the progress of the dementia severity.

“This is such an important advancement for the Irish health services and is one which could offer enormous relief and space for forward planning for families across Ireland,” said VideoDoc CEO Mary O’Brien. “After completion of a simple online memory assessment, the Nightingale Analytics platform will weigh and score the individuals severity of dementia and they will be connected to a dementia trained doctor via the VideoDoc service who will guide the patient through the process in a professional and compassionate manner.”

Dementia is one of the biggest killers in Ireland and one of the main causes of disability later in life, ahead of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. The Central Statistics Office predicts that the population of people with dementia in Ireland, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form, will increase from an estimated 48,000 (2015) to around 140,000 by 2041 – a 240% increase in the 2006 figure of 41,447.

Brendan Crossey, programme director, Nightingale Analytics, added: “Early diagnosis and treatment can delay the onset of the disease by two years which could halve the number of deaths from the condition, saving 3,000 lives a year in Ireland as well as saving the health service approximately €500 million per annum.

“Unfortunately, memory clinics are overrun and suffer from a lack of resources leaving GP’s unequipped to deliver a prognosis in a timely manner. We believe that we can transform this process by supporting the GP with the ability, using our standardised and validated service, to diagnose their patients within the 8-10 minutes standard appointment period.”

ICGP founding member and VideoDoc medical director Conor O’Hanlon said: “Dementia is a progressive and very complex disease and is one which we still have a lot to learn about. Early diagnosis is critical and allows people to undertake the appropriate actions to help them and their family deal with the prognosis.”

The rollout is expected to be completed by Spring 2018.

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