Protocol for a construct and clinical validation study of MyCog Mobile: A remote smartphone-based cognitive screener for older adults

Stephanie Ruth Young*, Elizabeth McManus Dworak, Greg J. Byrne, Callie Madison Jones, Julia Yoshino Benavente, Lihua Yao, Laura M. Curtis, Maria Varela Diaz, Richard Gershon, Michael Wolf, Cindy Nowinski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Annual cognitive screening in older adults is essential for early detection of cognitive impairment, yet primary care settings face time constraints that present barriers to routine screening. A remote cognitive screener completed on a patient's personal smartphone before a visit has the potential to save primary care clinics time, encourage broader screening practices and increase early detection of cognitive decline. MyCog Mobile is a promising new remote smartphone-based cognitive screening app for primary care settings. We propose a combined construct and clinical validation study of MyCog Mobile. Methods and analysis We will recruit a total sample of 300 adult participants aged 65 years and older. A subsample of 200 healthy adult participants and a subsample of 100 adults with a cognitive impairment diagnosis (ie, dementia, mild cognitive impairment, cognitive deficits or other memory loss) will be recruited from the general population and specialty memory care centres, respectively. To evaluate the construct validity of MyCog Mobile, the healthy control sample will self-administer MyCog Mobile on study-provided smartphones and be administered a battery of gold-standard neuropsychological assessments. We will compare correlations between performance on MyCog Mobile and measures of similar and dissimilar constructs to evaluate convergent and discriminant validity. To assess clinical validity, participants in the clinical sample will self-administer MyCog Mobile on a smartphone and be administered a Mini-Cog screener and these data will be combined with the healthy control sample. We will then apply several supervised model types to determine the best predictors of cognitive impairment within the sample. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, accuracy, sensitivity and specificity will be the primary performance metrics for clinical validity. Ethics and dissemination The Institutional Review Board at Northwestern University (STU00214921) approved this study protocol. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and summaries provided to the study's funders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere083612
JournalBMJ open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2 2024


  • aging
  • dementia
  • geriatric medicine
  • primary care
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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