App will boost dementia sufferers' quality of life

Published: 3 December 2014 at 11:04

Anglia Ruskin to lead multimillion euro research project to develop product

Anglia Ruskin University has won a €4.2million research grant to help mild dementia sufferers better manage their condition and support their carers.

Anglia Ruskin will develop an electronic platform, called Medical Intelligence for Assistive Management Interface – Mild Dementia, or MIAMI-MD, the first assistive technology designed specifically for mild dementia sufferers. It will help patients adhere to their treatment and share data with their carers and doctors. Carers will be able to use the same application to remotely monitor those they care for and share information about their own well-being with doctors.

As well as giving patients more control over their care, the aim is to slow the patient’s cognitive and functional decline, ease pressure on carers and reduce costs for healthcare providers such as the NHS. It is anticipated this research could save healthcare providers upwards of £1,500 per patient, per year.

The grant, from the European Union, represents a significant success for Anglia Ruskin’s new Faculty of Medical Science, which launched in September. Anglia Ruskin will lead a consortium of 11 academic institutions, health partnerships and SMEs from across Europe.

The research will run over four years and the developed platform will be piloted with volunteers from across several EU countries. UK volunteers will be identified by South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, which works in partnership with Anglia Ruskin through The Patrick Geoghegan Health and Wellbeing Academy.

The project is the brainchild of Professor James Hampton-Till, Deputy Dean in Anglia Ruskin’s Faculty of Medical Science, who said:

“Dementia affects more than 6% of people aged 60 and over across Europe. By 2060 it is estimated there will be 13 million dementia patients across Europe with a cost to the Union economy of more than €280billion. It is vital that, with an ageing population, we use technology to ease this crisis and reduce the strain on healthcare providers.
“This research grant gives us an opportunity to use the expertise we have in our Postgraduate Medical Institute and work with partners across Europe to help improve the quality of life of mild dementia sufferers and their carers.”