New technologies that help with the diagnosis and management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will be piloted for the first time in the UK by the ADHD Foundation, it has been announced.
QbCheck is an online ADHD test that is FDA cleared and CE-marked. It is used to inform referral decisions by teachers and qualified healthcare professionals to aid diagnosis and track treatment effectiveness. The average delay to ADHD diagnosis in Europe is 4 years, during which time education and mental health can suffer. With QbCheck, teachers can ensure that pupils reach the clinic sooner and benefit from treatment. They can also use the results to determine the best way to support the pupils in class.
ADHD currently affects 1 in 20 children and a third of those are still symptomatic as adults. Those currently seeking a diagnosis in the UK for the condition can expect to wait up to a year for an answer following several assessment sessions with a clinician. ADHD Foundation will continue to use QbTest and support schools utilising QbCheck in order to reduce delays to diagnosis.
Also being piloted from this month is the Braingaze objective ADHD test, which will be used with families with a history of ADHD and autism.
Dr Tony Lloyd (pictured), CEO of the ADHD Foundation, said: “We have worked with Qbtech for four years, and we were among the first in the UK to use its ground-breaking QbTest technology, which is now commonplace in the NHS and has reduced costs and time to diagnosis significantly. QbCheck is an exciting new development as it will help SENCOs and school professionals provide high quality, evidence-based referrals.”
Qbtech believe that ADHD care can be transformed through the provision of objective data to professionals in health and education. Tony Doyle, managing director of Qbtech, said: “SENCOs and teachers play a vital role in referring children who may have ADHD, QbCheck helps them to do so with greater confidence. Most people respond really well to treatment but first they must be assessed by a clinician. With QbCheck you can begin to change the life of a child with ADHD, all you need is 15 minutes and a laptop.”
Braingaze uses eye-tracking technology to capture eye vergence and artificial intelligence algorithms to classify patients ADHD vs non-ADHD. In Spain, Braingaze has clinically validated its ability to provide instant diagnosis assessment for children as young as 7, and if this is re-confirmed in the UK pilot, this could save the NHS money further down the line. While not a replacement for the current psychological assessment, Braingaze could be a useful tool in the evaluation process.
Hans Supèr, Braingaze co-founder professor at the University of Barcelona, believes eye-tracking technology can more objectively define if a child has ADHD, with scientific evidence to support its case. The company continues to conduct trials into identifying ADHD in adolescents and adults, as well as other cognitive impairments such as autism and dyslexia.
“The Braingaze test is accessible, quick and affordable, but more importantly, is a practical tool that provides objectivity for psychiatrists for diagnosis,” he said. We look forward to bringing it to the UK for the first time and working in partnership with ADHD Foundation.”