Axon Medical Technologies, LLC Chief Science Officer Michael Zarreii shared his excitement Thursday following Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s signing of House Bill 1082.
“This is a great day for Pennsylvanians at risk of memory loss and neurodegenerative disease and their families,” Zarreii said. “I am pleased that the governor recognizes and supports efforts for the early detection and diagnosis of these life-altering conditions that impact nearly 300,000 Pennsylvanians today.”
The governor’s action also positively impacts the Commonwealth’s bottom line, with the potential to save Pennsylvanians billions in tax dollars each year. In 2021, the state Medicaid program paid $9.7 billion to care for residents living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Nationwide, there are more than six million adults living with Alzheimer’s disease, a number that is expected to more than double to 14 million by 2060. According to a 2021 report, the cost to care for a person living with Alzheimer’s disease reached $355 billion and is anticipated to surpass $1 trillion by 2050. Up to $7.9 trillion could be saved in health care and long-term spending through early detection.
“Many people who suffer from memory lapses and memory loss don’t seek treatment because they fear the label of a diagnosis, and frankly, don’t know that treatments are available,” Zarreii says. “When memory lapses occur is the ideal time to seek treatment and allow for early intervention and treatment.”
Unfortunately, there is currently no dependable way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in its early stages. Existing diagnostic techniques are subjective, and effective only after a patient exhibits symptoms of significant cognitive impairment and diminished memory function. When these symptoms appear, the disease has already progressed, and severe, irreversible brain cell damage has occurred, rendering contemporary treatments ineffective.
Axon Medical Technologies has developed a platform that may be part of Pennsylvania’s solution to the current early detection and diagnosis dilemma with its enhanced cognitive assessment tool and FDA-registered Intellig-EYES™ device.
Intellig-EYES is a new, non-invasive cognitive measurement device that provides data to physicians that can lead to early detection and treatment of neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other health conditions. The assessment is covered by CMS and serves as a technological leap beyond existing gold standard cognitive assessments.
“Early detection and treatment of neurological disease are critical to monitoring and managing patients’ conditions and providing treatments to slow the rate of memory loss, improve cognitive function, enhance the quality of life for both patients and caregivers, and reduce health care costs,” Zarreii stated.