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Simard MD & DriveABLE Protocol

A screening tool should be able to tell us with considerable accuracy who can drive and who can’t drive because the quality of people’s lives are at stake. Researchers have mentioned that the more indeterminate scores a screening tool produces, the less useful it is.

According to Dr. Bonnie Dobbs’ own data, the initial screening tool, the Simard MD, administered in the physician’s office, tends to produce an indeterminate score about 50% of the time. Those who receive an indeterminate score are then referred to a DriveABLE Assessment Centre for the touch-screen test.

A recent retrospective study released by Dr. Allen Dobbs showed that the DriveABLE has yielded indeterminate scores 46% of the time. 13.7% passed the DriveABLE outright, 40% failed, and 46% received an indeterminate score. We have 50% indeterminate referring patients to 46% indeterminate for a $200 or $250 fee.

Both the Simard MD and the DriveABLE have an unacceptable rate of false positives and false negatives, incorrect fails and incorrect passes.

Dr. Bonnie Dobbs co- authored the Simard MD test which sends patients to her husband’s business. Dr. Allen Dobbs created the DriveABLE and he is president and CEO of the DriveABLE Assessment Centres. The DriveABLE Assessment Centres are majority owned and controlled by a venture capital fund, Foundation Equity Corporation.
Dr. Allen Dobbs’ recently published retrospective study, published March 2013, attempted to demonstrate the accuracy of the DriveABLE , although DriveABLE Assessment Corporation Inc. was widely marketed in early 2005. by CEO Henry Yip.

That study can be found on the Internet under Canadian Family Physician and it is titled

There are informed comments underneath. From 2007 to 2010, 3662 patients were given a driver’s test, his DORE, so that the on-road test results could be compared to the DriveABLE results. A strange analysis came to completely illogical conclusions. The conclusion was that the DriveABLE is highly accurate, but an indeterminate score 46% of the time isn’t highly accurate , and the overall raw agreement between the in-office assessment and on-road tests is only 50.4%. The calculations that showed that the DriveABLE was only 1.7% inaccurate for passes and only 5.6% inaccurate for fails suffered from a problem with numerator and denominator.

For those who passed, the percentage of incorrect passes should have been the number of incorrect passes divided by the total number of passes multiplied by 100. Instead, the number of incorrect passes was divided by all of the passes, all of the fails, and all of the indeterminates.
A similar misleading calculation was used to calculate the percentage of incorrect fails. The introduction of the Simard MD disregarded the Knowledge-to-Action Framework required by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

There should have first been a synthesis of studies, a sharing of information, and a debate. The required prospective study that would have allowed decisions to be justified in terms of demonstrable and quantified crash risk/crash rate reduction was not done before the DriveABLE was allowed to have a critical role in licensing decisions.
The DriveABLE did so poorly the only time that it was independently tested (51% accurate for fails), that it has not been available for independent research ever since.