Indiana University researchers awarded $3.96 million to test Dementia Care app

Newswise – The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) recently awarded researchers at the School of Public Health-Bloomington and Indiana University School of Medicine $3.96 million. dollars to fund a five-year randomized clinical trial of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD) telehealth intervention. In part, the I-CARE 2 trial will measure the impact of Brain CareNotes, a specific mobile telehealth application, on caregivers of patients living with ADRD.

The I-CARE 2 randomized clinical trial follows I-CARE, a pilot study to establish the feasibility and potential effectiveness of the Brain CareNotes app. (The mobile app is designed to help informal/family caregivers manage behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia such as wandering, agitation, depression and insomnia. It also connects caregivers remotely with trained “coaches”.) After six months of use, the mobile app eased the burden on caregivers and reduced behavioral and psychological symptoms in the dementia patients they cared for.

“The I-CARE 2 trial will be almost three times larger and a much larger study than the first,” said co-lead investigator Dr. Richard Holden. Holden, a distinguished Dean’s Scholar and professor at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, is chair of the Department of Health and Wellness Design. He is also a research scientist at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research at the Regenstrief Institute. He continues, “This will be the definitive trial to tell us whether the app improves health outcomes for informal caregivers and patients.”

The randomized clinical trial will include participants from across the state of Indiana. “Our first trial had a sample that was over 40% African American, and we plan to continue our efforts to recruit a diverse sample, including a larger proportion of Hispanic participants,” Holden adds. “We are trying to change the current trend that SARD clinical trials underrepresent racial and ethnic minority groups. Our interventions should work for everyone.”

Some endpoints of the trial will include caregiver burden and depressive symptoms, patient symptoms, and the rate of unplanned hospital visits and emergency admissions for patients and informal caregivers. “We will test the hypotheses that these outcomes are all lower at 12 months in the intervention group compared to the control group,” Holden said.

If these assumptions are confirmed, there could be important implications for the cost of health care. “Our BrainCare Notes solution is entirely designed with the goal of scaling the evidence-based collaborative care model for dementia,” says IU School of Medicine Professor and Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Malaz Boustani. “It is the most evidence-based model that currently helps people with dementia reduce their behavioral/psychological symptoms and reduce or even prevent stress and caregiver burden.”

“For health insurance and the payer, it saves a significant amount of money,” continues Boustani. “In one of our studies, it saved nearly $3,500 per member per year. The I-CARE 2 trial and Brain CareNotes are trying to extend this evidence-based collaborative care model, so the only thing you need is internet connectivity and the ability to interact with a healthcare worker. community through this mode of telehealth delivery. »

“It’s exciting to see technology integrated into the care experience in a way that is inclusive and has the potential to be a major help for informal caregivers,” says Dr. Peter Lichtenberg, director of the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology. “As the number of people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease continues to rise, the well-being of caregivers is increasingly vital. Dr. Holden combines his technological expertise with his understanding of the challenges of caregiving.”

Learn more about the IU School of Medicine at medicine.iu.edu. Information about SPH-B is available at go.iu.edu/48bx.

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