After three years and four months, CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD finally successfully completed its cycle. CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD aim was to build a digital platform focusing on people living with dementia and their caregivers, considering this “dyad” as the unit of care and offering both a variety of advanced, individually tailored services that will improve the quality of their lives and enable them to live well in the community for as long as possible.
Accessible through friendly and easy-to-use interfaces for mobile phones, tablets and web browsers, the CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD platform offers web-based social contact, reminders, information on local resources offering help and support, health monitoring, and personalised interventions providing educational material for coping with health-related issues. In order to enhance the involvement of end-users, innovative gamification concepts and techniques such as storyboard characters, fun elements and rewarding schemes are also incorporated in the platform.
During the first phase of the project, the team’s efforts mainly focused on identifying the end-users characteristics and preferences in order to tune the CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD platform’s specifications to their needs, thus ensuring both optimal functionality and usability.
Simultaneously, in order to explore the needs and opinions of end-users, a focus group approach has been followed in the context of a PACT (People, Activities, Context and Technology) analysis. During the fall of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, focus group interventions and interviews have been carried out with people living with dementia, caregivers and health-social care professionals. The results of the focus group study and interviews have provided the necessary, continuous, input for the development of updated versions and finalization of the CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD platform software components and functionalities, in such a way so as to adapt to the needs of the dyads as much as possible and to increase their level of satisfaction of the platform.
In order to demonstrate the CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD benefits for users and to prepare for the sustainable pan- European roll out of the platform, 4 large scale pilots have been carried out in Spain, France, Italy and United Kingdom, operated by FUB, CHU-ROUEN, COOS and University of Hull respectively. The pilots compared the benefits of using CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD between an intervention group and a control group of dyads of people living with dementia and their caregivers, with the intervention group being given a tablet computer with CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD installed, including guidance and its purpose of use.
To disseminate the CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD work, four workshops have been organized at the pilot sites in Italy, UK, France and Spain. Additionally, the CMMD final event, named ”CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD: A European platform to support people living with dementia and their caregivers” was held as an open session of HEALTHIO 2018 event in Barcelona. The event was combined with an exhibition booth where plenty of visitors had the chance to see first hand how the CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD platform works and its services.
Overall, during these years, CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD project managed to technically develop and pilot the CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD platform, a complex ICT tool that proposes several solutions which combined mean a step forward of the state of art in ICT social tools for dementia management. The opportunity to test and ICT tool like CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD has provided many useful quantitative and qualitative information that can be compared to other previous studies and provides insights of the potential of ICT tools for dementia management and support, especially for the caregivers and the health and social professionals.