Researchers from the EU-funded MIRROR project have developed new apps that enable healthcare workers to provide more personalized care to dementia patients. The goal of the apps was for workers in residential homes to be more creative and effective in delivering person-centered care. One interesting feature of The Carer App, for example, is caregivers can describe a problematic situation that they are encountering and retrieve similar case studies in a matter of seconds. Based on these recommendations, caregivers can then implement good practice based on what they learned.
The project began in July 2010 and ended in June 2014 and found that using a portable touchscreen iPod was the most efficient in typing in and receiving information back in a timely manner. Furthermore, the portable aspect allows caregivers to be on the move and not have to stop what they are doing. The researchers also found that individuals were well-versed in using touchscreen applications, so there was a high acceptance of technology in the workplace.
The app also provided caregivers with the person’s life history, complete with google maps, videos and digital photos, allowing for more spontaneous communication, helping caregivers and dementia patients to connect. Another app called CaReflect, was also developed to support care staff. Through using this technology, the MIRROR project has enhanced challenging working situations where no teachers and no formal content are available.