Care for persons with dementia requires constant and effective management and coordination of delivery of care between caregivers and family members. A robust, technology-driven solution for care management and coordination could significantly reduce the burden of caregiving and improve quality of life for patients with Alzheimer?s disease (AD). A few attempts have been made to use technology to support care coordination, but there is no integrated system to support self-care, assist caregivers with care coordination, and facilitate information sharing within a patient's caregiving team. In response to this need, BioSensics, in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), proposes to develop a comprehensive care platform called Care4AD?. The Care4AD platform will allow caregivers to schedule caregiving tasks, monitor physical activity and activities of daily living (ADL), and facilitate timely completion of ADLs (e.g., taking medication, scheduled toileting, hydration and meals, and attendance at scheduled appointments) through visual and voice reminders. Care4AD will consist of four technologies that work in tandem to enable effective care coordination. The Care4AD app will be used by caregivers to coordinate care, view physical activity and ADL information, and schedule reminders. The Care4AD tablet serves as a kiosk in the patient?s home to show scheduled activities and reminders, and it also supports audio reminders and voice recognition. Care4AD tags are a series of wireless sensors that will be attached to various objects of interest within the home to facilitate the monitoring of instrumental activities of daily living. Finally, the Care4AD sensor is a wearable sensor (based on existing commercially available technology from BioSensics) that monitors physical activity and ADLs, collects data from the tags, and transfers data to the Care4AD tablet, which serves as a data gateway for all the data collected from the sensor and tags. BioSensics has the requisite experience to successfully complete this project having developed and commercialized a sensor-based remote monitoring platform for older adults called PAMSys?. For this project, we have conducted three preliminary studies using PAMSys to monitor physical activity in individuals with cognitive impairment. In addition, BioSensics has already developed a prototype of the Care4AD tag, which will be further refined in this project. In Phase I, we will develop a prototype of the Care4AD platform and carry out stakeholder interviews to assess the feasibility and acceptability of Care4AD and gather feedback that will be used to improve the platform. In Phase II, we will complete the development of Care4AD, incorporating feedback from Phase I, and carry out a randomized controlled clinical study to evaluate if using the Care4AD platform reduces the burden and stress of caregiving, increases adherence to scheduled ADLs, and improves physical function and quality of life of patients.
Dementia, a chronic disease of aging, is characterized by progressive cognitive decline that interferes with independent functioning. The medical, psychological, social and functional sequelae of dementia cause great stress to patients, their caregivers, and their family. We propose to develop a home-based care coordination and management platform to help caregivers effectively coordinate, manage, and improve dementia care.