University of Michigan Receives $1.7 Million Grant to Develop Mobile Dementia App

6-10-2013 10-43-11 PM

The University of Michigan Health System has received a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to design an easy-to-use Web-based app that will help caregivers track and understand the behavioral symptoms associated with dementia. The project will be spearheaded by U of M, but work will be done in conjunction with researchers from Johns Hopkins University.

The platform, called WeCare, follows in the footsteps of a similar platform in the UK that was successfully rolled out this past fall. In that project, researchers attempted to diagnose patients with dementia earlier so that a care plan could be established sooner. As work gets underway on WeCare, it is becoming evident that digital health innovations are capable of meaningful clinical contributions to both the diagnostic approach and long-term care of patients with dementia.

“WeCare has potential to improve caregiver skills and the care of individuals with dementia who currently do not receive optimal behavioral management,” – Laura  Gitlin, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging at Johns Hopkins University.

Researchers from the universities will spend the next three and a half years developing and testing the platform.

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