Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting an estimated 350 million people of all ages. Cognitive problems are common in major depression. These issues may be under-recognized by both patients and clinicians. Psychomotor retardation, memory deficit, social cognition impairment, low attention span and bad overall executive function are well-known features of depression.
In 2016 Cognition Kit, a joint venture between Cambridge Cognition and Ctrl Group was formed to develop digital health tools on such devices. Cognition kit developed the special application designed to assess and monitor symptoms of MDD outside of the lab and in everyday life to help maximize patient engagement and potential treatment. Mobile and wearable digital devices became widely used nowadays, that why a huge population could be potentially covered by this app.
Recently a collaboration was formed between Cognition Kit and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. to pilot the use of this app. Takeda Pharmaceuticals also has some experience in digital application development. In 2016 the company launched a program to help patients with irritable bowel disease to manage and track their lifestyle and disease symptoms with a special app installed into the digital watch. The official press release does not name this watch, although it is already stated that the study of cognitive function assessment in MDD is going to be conducted with Apple Watch. The study will involve 30 participants, aged 18 to 65 years with a clinical diagnosis of mild to moderate depression who have been prescribed an antidepressant for Major Depressive Disorder.
The study aims to evaluate feasibility and compliance and to understand how measures of mood and cognition on wearable technology compare to more traditional neuropsychological testing and patient-reported assessments. The output of the study is expected in the first half of 2017.
Society can expect evolution and large implementation of this approach into everyday practice. History of automated external defibrillators is a good example of such evolution: developed in 1970, these devices nowadays can automatically distinguish asystole from fatal ventricular arrhythmia, deliver proper discharge to resuscitate a person and provide instructions to a complete stranger. Implementation of new technologies into clinical practice will grant further growth opportunities for clinical research market and pharmacovigilance market.
2. http://www.cognitionkit.com/ – about