WXXI AM News

Victor company expands efforts to market cognitive screening device

Oct 7, 2021

A Victor company that makes a device used to help determine a person’s cognitive function continues to expand.

Cognivue wants to be in doctor’s offices, and also in other health care settings.

The company actually started back in 2005, and it got a big boost when philanthropist and Paychex founder Tom Golisano acquired the company in 2018.

Cognivue makes a device with a computer screen that you sit in front of, while working a sort of joystick like control as you complete various exercises.

Tom O’Neill is president and CEO of Cognivue. He said this device doesn’t diagnose anything on its own, but it’s a tool for a doctor or other health professional to follow up with the patient.

“What we're trying to do is catch it when it's still mild cognitive impairment when the patient and the doctor can do something about it. So things that are these modifiable risk factors are things like diet, exercise, lifestyle, mindfulness, stress, anxiety, diabetes, hearing loss, vision issues.”

Earlier this year, officials at Cognivue said they were conducting tests to see how the system might be used by law enforcement in trying to figure out if someone has been impaired by using marijuana.

The company is also involved in a clinical trial to see how Cognivue’s technology might help improve screening of patients for Alzheimer’s disease. Cognivue also has been work with researchers on a study which will look at the impact of COVID-19 on cognitive function.

O’Neill said that the goal is also to make Cognivue’s technology available to more locations, including pharmacies and audiologists.

“Because there’s a very specific hearing-brain connection, the audiologists really appreciate and understand that connection. So they’re really bringing what they believe and what we believe is some great clinical value and clinical service to their patients,” said O’Neill.

Cognivue also manufactures their cognitive-testing equipment at the Victor location. They currently employ about 37 people, with plans to add 17 more including sales reps, as they work to increase the usage of their devices across the country.