Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smart Software Supports Outpatient Services for People with Dementia

16.07.2014

Living at home as long as possible is a wish expressed by many people with dementia.

To enable this, researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have developed a computer-based procedure that identifies individual demands in dementia care management.

The Greifswald based researchers describe in the journal International Psychogeriatrics that this procedure is able to determine 85 percent more unmet needs than by non-computerized assessment. Thereby, outpatient services for people with dementia can be managed very effectively.

Care managers with special training play a particularly important role. They visit patients at their homes to compile a detailed profile of their care situation. For this, comprehensive interviews are conducted with the assistance of tablet-PCs.

Based on the collected information a computer program generates specific recommendations for the treating general practitioner (GP). The new procedure is part of a comprehensive concept the DZNE is currently testing in cooperation with the University Medicine Greifswald with the aim of improving home care services for dementia patients.

Dementia is a complex condition that involves not only physical, but also psychological, social and legal aspects. “We need all-encompassing care solutions that are individually tailored to the needs of patients and their care providing family members,” says Professor Wolfgang Hoffmann, Speaker of the DZNE-Site Rostock/Greifswald, and Managing Director of the Institute for Community Medicine at the University Medicine Greifswald. The complexity of this task prompted the researchers to develop a computerized Intervention-Management-System (IMS).

“The software matches individual patient characteristics with a knowledge base that describes the conditions for optimum care for dementia patients,” explains Dr. Tilly Eichler, a scientist at the DZNE in Greifswald. Testing of the system has been underway in the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since January 2013 and first results are now available. The analysis is part of “DelpHi-MV,” an interventional study conducted by the DZNE to evaluate new approaches for home care for dementia patients.

Care managers are testing the new system under practical conditions

The study participants – dementia patients age 70 and older – are supported by specially trained care professionals. These “dementia care managers” (DCM) visit patients at their homes. Their responsibilities include comprehensive interviews. Among other matters, a DCM records health problems, medications, the frequency of doctors’ appointments, and also if patients have authorized someone to make medical decisions on their behalf. In this way, the DCM systematically assess the individual needs of patients covering medical, nursing care, pharmaceutical, psychological, social as well as legal aspects. For data collection, tablet-PCs that run the IMS are used. The computer program subsequently recommends specific actions for the patient’s GP.

The objective: the provision of care tailored to the patient’s needs

The IMS proposes up to 28 different measures for the provision of care and treatment – so-called interventions. For instance, if the interview points to a depression, a referral to a psychiatrist will be recommended to clarify the patient’s actual condition. If patients have difficulty handling everyday tasks such as getting dressed or brushing their teeth, the IMS will suggest ergo-therapy. DCMs do have the option to revise these recommendations if they deem it necessary. All changes are documented. “Ultimately, this results in a GP-information letter, which contains decision-making aids for a tailored care and treatment plan,” Eichler explains. “The GP decides, which actions are in fact initiated and implemented in cooperation with the dementia care manager.”

A DCM will accompany the implementation of the intervention plan for at least half a year, thereby providing patients and their relatives customized support in handling the disease. This assistance which is provided in the context of regular visits to the patient’s home aims to pave the way for good and sustainable care. “We want to integrate dementia patients and their families into the regionally available healthcare system as early as possible. Our goal is that they take the best benefit from these resources”, Eichler comments.

Software uncovers unmet needs

An initial analysis has shown that the new computer program does provide effective support to the DCM when it comes to the identification of unmet needs. This conclusion comes from comparing two patient groups: for one group, the search for unmet needs was based on a manual questionnaire. For the second group, the questionnaire was computerized. The result: the IMS identified needs that had not been discovered by the manual analysis.

“The number of interventions recommended to the general practitioner increased by 85 percent as a result of using the IMS,” Professor Hoffmann says. “Consequently, our dementia care managers were able to provide more effective support to dementia patients and their care giving relatives.”

“The IMS does provide the general practitioner with more concise insights into the patient’s status along with specific recommendations for actions to be taken,” Hoffmann adds. “We will now study, which interventions are actually being implemented and what their effects are. Ultimately, our aim is to improve the patients’ quality of life and to relieve their families.“

On DelpHi-MV

In the context of “DelpHi-MV”, a scientific study initiated in January 2012, the DZNE is investigating the impact and practicability of various actions for providing home care to dementia patients. Interventions conducted by dementia care managers are central to the study. Family members also receive consulting services or are offered special training. This aims to facilitate the provision of home care to dementia patients and to relieve care giving relatives.

To date, more than 125 general practitioners and more than 480 patients are participating in the study in the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Additional study participants are expected to join in the course of this year. The initial results on the effectiveness of dementia care management are anticipated by early 2016. The DZNE aims to integrate this concept of outpatient services into routine care.

Original Publication
“The benefits of implementing a computerized Intervention-Management-System (IMS) on delivering integrated dementia care in the primary care setting”, Tilly Eichler, Jochen René Thyrian, Daniel Fredrich, Leonore Köhler, Diana Wucherer, Bernhard Michalowsky, Adina Dreier, Wolfgang Hoffmann, International Psychogeriatrics, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1041610214000830

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.dzne.de/en/about-us/public-relations/meldungen/2014/press-release-no...

Dr. Marcus Neitzert | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: DCM DZNE IMS Medicine conditions dementia individual procedure recommendations

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>