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Caregiver app for Alzheimer’s designed to share day-to-day changes with physician (video)

November 29, 2012 2:58 pm by | 0 Comments

An app that helps caregivers track the progression of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease through their day-to-day emotional health and well-being is under development by a Toronto-based mobile health developer.

The app can print notes made by caregivers in a single-page format for doctors so they can get a more complete picture of the patient’s health and any significant changes since the previous appointment.

In addition to a diary, MobiHealth’s app also includes a medicine tracker that provides access by a private network to track dosages and how frequently prescription medication is taken. Another component helps caregivers delegate tasks to a personal network like a doctor’s appointment. A symptom tracker allows users to add symptoms as they observe them.

Omer Dor, the CEO of MobiCare, said as part of its research for developing the app, it tracked physicians for eight weeks  and witnessed how families would bring in pages of journal entries because they would observe a lot of things that doctors wouldn’t in the day-to-day home life. They didn’t know how to deal with cognitive or functional changes.

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“We developed MobiCare so everyone could be empowered to provide support,” he said. The app is currently in public beta. It is available as both an app and as a Web-based tool. A recent deal with a California company will enable caregivers to photograph notes that can be converted in a digital format.

The company was one of 12 pitching at the fourth annual Canadian eHealth Innovation Summit at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia this week. The Canadian Consulate is selecting up to six of these companies to join a health IT accelerator it is launching at the Science Center next year.
There are about 15 million unpaid caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia; the majority of them are family members. About one-quarter of caregivers fall into the 35- to 54-year-old range, with about half of the caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia aged 55 and older, according to 2012 report from the Alzheimer’s Association. Samantha Juraschka, a co-founder and chief operating officer with MobiCare, has a grandmother with the disease.

There has been a push to develop monitoring apps and technology to better track people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in order to allow them to stay in their own homes for longer. But caregivers responsible for monitoring their care need to have the adequate tools to be able to record and report changes in their behavior or routines that could indicate signs of trouble.

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Stephanie Baum

By Stephanie Baum

Stephanie Baum is the East Coast Innovation Reporter for MedCityNews.com. She enjoys covering healthcare startups across health IT, drug development and medical devices and innovations deployed to improve medical care. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania and has worked across radio, print and video. She's written for The Christian Science Monitor, Dow Jones & Co. and United Business Media.
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