Developing Accessible Neurotechnology: Richard Gershon, PhD


The vice chair for research at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine discussed creating a mobile cognitive toolbox to be used by all populations.

"[We may need to help people] get the app onto their phone in the first place. Smartphones actually have greater penetration in populations with disparities than computers do. People don't have a computer at home, but they have a smartphone.”

Early detection of cognitive impairment due to neurodegenerative disease may be achieved with the Mobile Toolbox Battery (MTB), a mobile application, according to a study presented by Sarah Pila, PhD, research assistant professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, at the 2021 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, April 17-22.

Pila and colleagues, including senior author Richard Gershon, PhD, vice chair, research, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who, with his colleagues, developed the MTB to safely, remotely, and effectively collect data from assessments that measure executive function, language, memory, and processing speed in adults. The battery consists of several assessments such as the Flanker, Face-Name (FNAME); Memory for Sequence (MFS); Picture Sequence Memory (PSM); and Vocabulary, Number Match, Spelling, and Dimensional Charge Card Sort (DCCS) tests.

NeurologyLive spoke to Gershon to learn more about his goal of developing technology to help people in all populations. He discussed how a smartphone application has the potential to reach the broadest group of people compared to computer programs.

For more coverage of AAN 2021, click here.

Pila S, Novak M, Weintraub S, et al. The Mobile Toolbox (MBT): A Completely Remote Platform for Cognitive Research. Presented at 2021 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 17-22. Abstract P7.086
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