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A better, faster way
to assess people
with memory problems

What is Cognospeak?

CognoSpeakTM engages the patient in a conversation – something that is known to place a high cognitive demand on multiple domains involving memory, language and attention. CognoSpeak asks memory-probing questions inspired by those used in outpatient consultations and conducts cognitive tests such as picture descriptions and verbal fluency tests.

How it works

How it works?

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The early detection of memory problems is important for patient care and wellbeing. However, memory clinics are currently oversubscribed with the number of referrals having increased almost 7-fold from 2009 to 2014. The tool could mean memory assessment clinics can see more people, more quickly, reducing delays. It may also allow some people with cognitive complaints not due to diseases like Alzheimer’s to be reassured more quickly and provided with appropriate advice and support.

Record conversation with 
CognoSpeak virtual agent

Speech is analysed for patterns

Clinicians receive a report

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Current pathway



Very busy + Simple tools

Current diagnostic pathways are under extreme pressure.

Future pathway

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Same day



Very busy + Simple tools

CognoSpeak assessment

CognoSpeak prioritises those
who need to see a specialist

CognoSpeak™ will save money and free up clinician time

The Story So Far

The Story So Far

We tested CognoSpeak with individuals with neurodegenerative and functional memory problems, as well as healthy controls, and achieved a level of accuracy comparable to traditional cognitive tests. We want to continue improving CognoSpeak while making sure it is accessible to everyone. The collaboration with Israac Somali Community Centre helped us to identify areas of improvement, such as including a more diverse choice of avatars. We are also training CognoSpeak to be equally effective for users who do not use English as their first language.

Working with end users and clinicians


Project Timeline

Hardcover Books

Key Publications

Project Partners

Project Partners

University of Sheffield

Lead academic applicants with internationally leading expertise in automatic non-invasive tools for interaction-based assessment of cognitive impairment and extensive knowledge in the area of speech analytics and healthcare.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Supporting the identification and recruitment of participants including collection of demographic data, storing and uploading onto Sheffield Teaching Hospitals databases. Also help with submission of the ethical amendment, and during the study will help maintain site file, upload data recruits onto a database for CRN portfolio metrics.

Therapy Box Ltd

In 2019, we started collaborating with Therapy Box. They are an SME based in London with extensive experience in health technology, and a track record of successfully commercialising speech-related technology in the NHS, and abroad. They have developed a number of successful speech-based technologies including the VocaTempo with researchers at the University of Sheffield. Therapy Box is also a partner on the EU H2020 Training network TAPAS where Christensen is the Sheffield PI.

In early 2020, we ran a workshop with Therapy Box (fascilitated by mHabitat) for people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer's Disease and their families to explore barriers to uptake of a technology like CognoSpeak™. We also worked with clinicians in the diagnostic pathway to map out how CognoSpeak™ will be integrated in current primary and secondary care.

Devices for Dignity

Devices for Dignity is an NIHR MedTech Co-operative based in Sheffield. They are based with the NHS and specialise in aiding the adoption of innovative medical devices, healthcare technologies and technology-dependent interventions. We have worked with Lise Sproson to develop grant proposals and fascilitate work with our local PPIE groups.

The Team

The Team

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