Support Monitoring and Reminder Technology for Mild Dementia (SMART4MD) Effects of a digital platform adapted specifically for persons with mild cognitive impairment: Study Protocol for a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial (Preprint)
JMIR Research Protocols
Many countries are witnessing a trend of growth in the number and proportion of older adults within the total population. In Europe, population aging has had and will continue to have major social and economic consequences. This is a fundamentally positive development where the added life span is of great benefit for both the individual and the society. Yet, the risk for the individual to contract noncommunicable diseases and disability increases with age. This may adversely affect the
... l's ability to live his or her life in the way that is desired. Cognitive conditions constitute a group of chronic diseases that predominantly affects older people. Recent technology advancements can help support the day-to-day living activities at home for people with cognitive impairments. A digital platform (Support Monitoring and Reminder for Mild Dementia; SMART4MD) is created to improve or maintain the quality of life for people with mild cognitive impairment (PwMCI) and their carers. The platform will provide reminders, information, and memory support in everyday life, with the purpose of giving structure and lowering stress. In the trial, we will include participants with a diagnosed neurocognitive disorder as well as persons with an undiagnosed subjective memory problem and cognitive impairment, that is, 20 to 28 points on the Mini-Mental State Examination. A pragmatic, multicenter RCT is being conducted in Spain, Sweden, and Belgium. The targets for recruitment are 1200 dyads-split into an intervention group and a control group that are in usual care. Intervention group participants will be provided with a data-enabled computer tablet with the SMART4MD app. Its core functionalities, intended to be used daily at home, are based on reminders, cognitive supporting activities, and sharing health information. Inclusion of participants started in December 2017, and recruitment is expected to end in February 2019. Furthermore, there will be 3 follow-up visits at 6, 12, and 18 months after the baseline visit. This RCT is expected to offer benefits at several levels including in-depth knowledge of the possibilities of introducing a holistic multilayered information and communication technology solution for this group. SMART4MD has been developed in a process involving the structured participation of PwMCI, their informal carers, and clinicians. The adoption of SMART4MD faces the challenge of this age group's relative unfamiliarity with digital devices and services. However, this challenge can also be an opportunity for developing a digital device tailored to a group at risk of digital exclusion. This research responds to the wider call for the development of digital devices which are accessible and affordable to older people and this full scale RCT can hopefully serve as a model for further studies in this field. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03325699; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03325699. DERR1-10.2196/13711.