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Innovative screening tool to be a ‘game-changer’ in ADHD diagnosis

The launch of ‘an innovative screening tool in County Durham will prove a ‘game-changer’ in the diagnosis of ADHD across the UK and Ireland, its developers say.

The QbTest technology – an objective tool which helps determine whether ADHD traits may be present in people – has been made accessible to the general public by Consett-based social enterprise, Celebrate Difference. The testing, developed by Qbtech, has been designed to provide clinicians with more in-depth data about their patients’ symptoms ahead of diagnosis, and – the company says – will significantly reduce waiting times in between assessment and detection. Research shows the screening reduces on average 153 days from assessment to diagnosis.

The QbTest is a 20-minute online test aimed at adults aged 18-60 which uses age and gender-matched comparisons from a large control group to test participants for the three core traits of people with ADHD: Attention, Activity and Impulsivity. The screening tool is currently used in the NHS, but Celebrate Difference is the first UK organisation to offer the service to private clients in a physical setting from its base on Sherburn Terrace, Consett.

The QbTest technology combines both subjective and objective data to help assess ADHD.

The test involves participants sitting in front of a laptop during the online screening with a camera tracking movement through a ball attached to a headband worn by the participant. People will be asked to click on symbols which appear on screen during the test. A trained member of the Celebrate Difference will be present with the participant during the test, which will take place at the organisation’s Consett base.

Celebrate Difference CEO and Founder, Nicola Jayne Little, was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyspraxia in her 40s, and says she is ‘passionate about providing support systems for people diagnosed with neurodivergent disorders’. She said: “The QbTest is wonderfully sophisticated and clever technology, which will be a real game-changer in improving ADHD diagnosis for so many people across the UK. Eighty per cent of our team are neurodivergent, and we have tested the kit ourselves, and seen first-hand how important this equipment will be for the development of ADHD diagnosis.

“It’s important to stress that we are not clinicians, and we cannot diagnose ADHD using the QbTest. Instead, the screening will provide a great amount of data about people’s attention, activity, and impulsivity levels, so clinicians can understand their patients’ symptoms, thus significantly cutting waiting times for diagnosis. For this technology to be made available to members of the general public is a major breakthrough in the advancement of ADHD diagnosis, and it’s remarkable for our social enterprise in a small County Durham town to be chosen to play such an important role in making this ground-breaking technology more readily available across the whole of the UK and Ireland.”

Meanwhile, Celebrate Difference’s head of Operations and Strategy and Qb Lead, Joanne Stanton, has been selected as the country’s first QbChampion. The role has been created ‘to bring together people across the UK and Ireland at the forefront of ADHD support to share ideas and best practices about how to develop Qb technology to benefit a wider cross-section of people’.

Joanne Stanton already has ambitions to extend the technology to people aged 60 and over, and lead research projects in LGBTQIA+ communities. She said: “The QbChampion role is a creative, innovative, and forward-thinking role, and I’m excited to play a key part in the ongoing development of such important technology to make sure it benefits as many people as possible. As somebody who wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was 51, I know only too well how mystifying, and sometimes terrifying, it is to live with an undiagnosed condition. so the QbTest has the potential to make such a positive impact to the lives of thousands of people. It has already helped our team identify areas where support is needed enabling us to put reasonable adjustments or accommodations in place for work. I’m really flattered to be chosen as the first QbChampion, and I can’t wait to work with some amazing people across the UK to ensure that we are continuously improving the services available to ADHDers.”

Pictured – left to right – are: Dr Tony Lloyd, CEO of the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity, Celebrate Difference Qb lead, Joanne Stanton, Qbtech Clinical Team manager (UK), Jess Brunet, Celebrate Difference founder, Nicola Jayne Little, and Qbtech account director (UK), Jo Barosa.




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