NeuroCog needed a development partner to port their hugely successful paper assessment, the “Brief Assessment of Cognition (BAC),” into an electronic format. The BAC, as it is most commonly known, is a set of quick and effective tests that are sensitive to the cognitive changes in a variety of patient populations. The cognitive domains assessed by the BAC include: memory, working memory, processing speed, executive functions and verbal fluency. NeuroCog’s aim was to develop a novel platform that would allow administrators in both clinical and research settings to test patients and instantly capture the results in a secure database. Precise adherence to the requirements were necessary to ensure the validated functions of the BAC would be retained and accessible to NeuroCog in the new electronic Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS).
CREATING THE APP
Little Green Software and NeuroCog formed a partnership and worked closely together to create an interface based on the strict, scientifically rigorous and procedural constraints of the BAC. With guidelines in hand and with a six month timeline, the Little Green Software team kicked off the project by designing wireframes that helped to refine the user experience. Once the wireframes were approved, the visual designs were created with close collaboration with the Little Green Software development team. Due to the nature of the assessment, every effort was made during the design phase to not only provide a user-friendly experience but to uphold the functional integrity of the paper-based assessment.
The most challenging design and development features in the project consisted of the Token Motor and Tower of London tests. Prior to the start of the project, iOS developers created a proof of concept that demonstrated for stakeholders the viability of creating the BAC and BACS tests with a measure of accuracy in order to meet NeuroCog’s requirements. The proof of concept proved to be extremely beneficial during the development of the full features. These intricate user-facing tests required such finesse in touch, timing and accuracy that their development pushed even Little Green Software’s most experienced iOS developers to a higher level of expertise, working to ensure that all of the app’s detailed features functioned seamlessly together.
Simultaneously, as the design team worked to create the user experience, Little Green Software’s .NET developers created the framework and architecture for the backend support that houses the BACS database and serves as the communication mechanism for the app and the server. This is a centralized data source with controlled access that was designed in order to adhere to HIPAA compliance regulations.
Today, the polished BAC/BACS app is available for download in the App Store. It has undergone new iterations to address added functionality on both the server side as well as the app side. It serves as a visually pleasing app for both patient and administrative users. The robust and secure database captures, filters, and sorts data for users with controlled access. NeuroCog, the system administrator and licensing agent for the BAC/BACS app, is able to confidently support its diverse and growing user base and is able to regularly meet the expectations of regulatory audits.