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DECODE Dementia

An app to enable GPs to identify patients with dementia more effectively

Exeter University

Decode Dementia has been created to enable GPs to identify patients with dementia more effectively. This is underpinned by a Bayesian mathematical formula which updates each individual patient’s probability of dementia as new information becomes available. If a GP suspects that a patient may have dementia then they will be able to input key characteristics such as age, former main occupation and information about medical conditions such as diabetes and stroke.

If the patient is attending the appointment with someone who knows them well, then this informant’s assessments about the patient’s memory can also be entered into the app by the GP. Using this information, the app should be able to calculate a personalised dementia probability by applying differential weighting, e.g. an 85 year old diabetic will have a higher probability of dementia than a 65 year old with no other health problems. The app will then advise the GP how likely the patient is to have dementia (low, moderate or high risk) and whether further investigation is warranted.