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Empower communities with better brain health tools and literacy


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What role should community and caregivers play in brain health and mental health, and how can technology aid their efforts–for example in sharing relevant data with/ from doctors? How are we going to educate and empower everyone with essential knowledge and best practices?
--Chair: Dr. Peter Whitehouse, Professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University
--Dr. Elizabeth Zelinski, Director of the Center for Digital Aging at the Davis School of Gerontology
--Michael Meagher, President of Cogniciti
--Dr. Neal Cohen, clinical psychologist at The Synapse System

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Published in: Self Improvement
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Empower communities with better brain health tools and literacy

  1. 1. Empower communities with better brain health tools and literacy
  2. 2. Empower communities with better tools and brain health literacy Chaired by: Dr. Peter Whitehouse, Professor of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University Dr. Elizabeth Zelinsky, Director of the Center for Digital Aging, Davis School of Gerontology Michael Meagher, President, Cogniciti Dr. Neal Cohen, Clinical Psychologist, The Synapse System
  3. 3. Empowering Caregivers of Older Adults with Mobile Apps Elizabeth M. Zelinski, PhD Rita and Edward Polusky Chair in Education and Aging Director, Center for Digital Aging Professor of Gerontology and Psychology Supported in part by R01 AG10569, P50 AG005142, US National Institute on Aging and a grant from Healthcare Partners, Inc. Foundation
  4. 4. • Virtual companion for cognitively impaired older adults • Consulting in development of a fall prevention game • Consulting in a web-based information source for identifying elder abuse • Consulting on a research-based caregiver support app Center for Digital Aging projects
  5. 5. • Easily accessible • Inexpensive • Integrate information from multiple sources • Effective for self management of chronical conditions • Could be effective for more recent cohorts of caregivers Mobile applications can empower
  6. 6. • 13-16% of adults in US experience a brain disorder, most over 65 • More than 15M Americans provide unpaid care • Average 22 hours/week • 59% high to very high level of emotional stress • Negative mental health outcomes include depression, anxiety, and hostility Caring for an adult with a brain disorder
  7. 7. • Low-technology but labor-intensive solutions including telephone support reduce caregiver burden • 69% of technology-using caregivers receptive to smartphone apps for help • 78% of caregivers who have fulltime paid employment are very receptive to smartphone apps. Caregivers benefit from support
  8. 8. • Information and Resources • Practical Problem Solving – Medication Management – Safety – Memory Aids • Improving Family Coordination – Coordination of Care – Personal Health Tracking • Increasing Self-Efficacy with Emotional Support Support for caregivers reduces their depression, anxiety, and stress
  9. 9. • Apps in App Store and Google Play • Keyword search: caregiving, caregiver, elder care, caregiving apps • Included: apps specific to family or informal caregivers of older adults • Excluded: apps that market paid services, apps for professional providers, or apps that locate professional caregiving services • Three data points: April 2014, April 2015; April 2016 to assess stability of apps offered Classification of existing app characteristics for evidence-based support
  10. 10. Considerable app turnover
  11. 11. 2016 App Characteristics Improving Family Communication 36% Comprehensive 4% Information 22% Memory Aids 16% Med Management 13% Safety 9% Practical Problem Solving 38%
  12. 12. n Topics/features within category Platform Cost range Information & Resources 10 Searchable databases Videos Symptom tracking Personalized reports 5 iOS 2 Android 3 both Download: $0.99 - $4.99 Free with in-app purchases to $54.99 Practical problem solving 17 Medication management (6) GPS/camera to locate patient (4) Memory support (7) 8 iOS 11 both Download: free + subscription $3.99/year to $4.99/ month Free with in-app and equipment purchases from $9.99 to $249.99 Improving family communication 16 Care coordination Health history/tracking 8 iOS 8 both Download: free - $12.99 Free with in-app purchases to $8.99 Comprehensive 2 Problem solving + family communication 1 iOS 1 both Download: free - $0.99 Apps offer some evidence-based support
  13. 13. • Emotional support • Increasing self efficacy • Personalized support: inspirational messages • Music playlists for relaxation • mindfulness Missing: care for the caregiver
  14. 14. • Different apps cover 3 of the 4 areas of evidence-based intervention benefits • Most not comprehensive: only 2 apps cover multiple sources of benefit in one program • However, increasing self efficacy and providing emotional support not yet addressed • No real-time support for caregivers to reach out to others in their situation Apps can be valuable for caregiver stress but there’s room to grow
  15. 15. • High turnover of available apps • Customizing for need – Developmental changes in care recipient needs – Long distance vs local caregivers – Caregiving for sandwich caregivers – Caregiver/care recipient diversity Additional Challenges
  16. 16. 16 Brain Health commercialization arm of Baycrest Canada’s largest geriatric hospital and a world leader in the research of memory and Michael Meagher, President, Cogniciti
  17. 17. 17 December 6, 2016 From: Dementia Disease Canada To: Canadian Healthcare Funders Terms: to be paid over the next 30 years Payment Details Direct Healthcare Costs $490 billion Lost Productivity Family Caregivers $302 billion Lost Profits To Employers $ 80 billion Total To Be Paid $872 billion INVOICE
  18. 18. 18 Funding Relief
  19. 19. 19 How Combine technology and brain health science to fast track adults at risk for earlier diagnosis and treatment
  20. 20. 20 20 • Validated by Baycrest scientists to answer the question “Is my memory normal or should I see my doctor?” • Peer reviewed, published, and patented. • Free, private, online for adults ages 40 – 79 years. Cogniciti Brain Health Assessment
  21. 21. 21 Tests sensitive to changes with age
  22. 22. 22 22 Online Library for Follow Up
  23. 23. 23 Targeted Outcomes 1. Better patient outcomes 2. More effective coordination between doctors, nurses, family, and patients 3. Lower healthcare costs
  24. 24. 24 Strong Start From a single media release 200,000 135,000 46,000 Site Visits Site Visitors Completed Assessments
  25. 25. 25 Next Step 44 million adults Canada/USA with memory concerns
  26. 26. 26 Strategy – Community Action Via
  27. 27. Proprietary Information The Synapse System: Empowering Patients for Cognitive Recovery Neal Cohen, PsyD Licensed Psychologist 27
  28. 28. Proprietary Information “It is possible that the poor prognosis associated with addiction is in part due to the fact that previous treatments have not addressed underlying cognitive deficits. A reconceptualization of the patient group as cognitively impaired patients with co- occurring substance abuse rather than substance uses might better reflect their treatment needs.” H.H. Brorson et al. / Clinical Psychology Review 33 (2013) 28
  29. 29. Proprietary Information Substance Use Disorders is a national crisis  Drug use is one of the leading causes of death in the US killing 570,000 people annually.  21M Americans have a substance use disorder.  2.5M enter a hospital or clinic for treatment.  U.S. Government will spend over $12B in fighting drug use.  Relapse rate is 80%-90%.  Many professionals do not understand the neuroscientific aspects of substance use. 29
  30. 30. Proprietary Information The Synapse System: Neurobehavioral Facilitation Question: What would the treatment of substance use disorders look like if we were to take our neuroscientific understanding of the problem seriously? Response: A comprehensive, theoretically sound, set of tools and interventions based on empirical literature to promote “cognitive recovery” by engaging patients in efforts to promote brain health in service of maintaining long-term remission. 30
  31. 31. Proprietary Information Challenges to Recovery in the Digital Age 31
  32. 32. Proprietary Information Source: V. Manning et. al / Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences (2017) Potential neurocognitive targets and approaches 32
  33. 33. Proprietary Information 33 Thank You Q&A
  34. 34. Thank you to all Participants!
  35. 35. Sponsors Thank you to all Speakers & Sponsors!
  36. 36. To learn more, visit