Test to check mental capabilities developed in Boca
By David A. Schwartz
Times Staff Writer
Sandy Straus has a huge vision of her tiny
SpecialtyAutomated Systems Corp. doing for the
Boca Raton what
IBM did in the 1980s and ‘90s, when a host of technology-related businesses
sprung up around the computer giant’s development and manufacturing facilities
Straus wants to see the
software sector of the industry once again flourish in Boca Raton. From an
office on South Dixie Highway she and a small staff produce automated,
interactive cognitive, vision, and knowledge tests.
Straus says she believes
the cognitive products will find eager markets in senior centers, nursing homes
and assisted living facilities, hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices.
That’s why she recently
tried out the
Automatic Clock Drawing Test ™ on a computer touch screen, with the computer hidden
inside a cabinet at the Mae Volen Senior Center.
The clock drawing test is a pencil
and paper test in which the person being tested draws a clock face and fills in
the hours on the dial and the time, as instructed by the tester. It is a part
of a battery of tests used to diagnose dementia and psychiatric illnesses.
Straus’ belief is that the
Automatic Clock Drawing Test™, when paired with the touch screen version of a visual
acuity and contrast sensitivity test that shows an individual’s ability to
discern detail in moving objects, would be useful in identifying impaired
“Our goal is to have all
this online,” she said between tests. “We can offer the software and a kiosk,
but the greatest demand has been pay per use [on-line].”
Susan Spinozzi took Straus’
Automatic Clock Drawing Test ™ in the lobby of the
Mae Volen Senior
Center to satisfy herself that nothing was wrong with her eyes. The 88-year
Boca Raton resident said she gave up driving about five years ago.
“At this age you don’t have
the reflexes right away to put your foot on the gas,” Spinozzi said. “I wanted
to make sure that, God forbid, I would never hit anyone while driving.”
This month’s visit to the
Mae Volen Senior Center, 1515 W. Palmetto Park Road, followed three last month.
Straus said she has tested 45 seniors and the tests have gone well. The testing
at Mae Volen, Straus said, is just the start.
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