Applied Models and Digital Health

The Applied Models and Digital Health group aims to systematically synthesise and inform the current start of the art research in applied models of care in dementia and the utility of digital health interventions for both the prevention and treatment of dementia. This working group will use systematic reviews, and data science methods to answer important clinical questions such as:

  1. What are the key markers of functional decline in dementia using longitudinal cohort data and/or electronic health records to improve our knowledge of disease progression and inform the design of new interventions?
  2. What are the key quality parameters of dementia diagnosis and how electronic health records could be used to accelerate and improve dementia diagnosis and post-diagnostic support?  
  3. What is the potential of digital health interventions in the prevention and treatment of dementia to inform future models of care?

Modelling disease progression in dementia 

Information about disease progression is important for the development of interventions and for understanding the underlying causes of disease. Advancing our knowledge of disease progression in dementia will contribute towards better methods to predict and monitor clinical outcomes for patients and improve the design of future clinical trials. Using electronic health records will provide an opportunity to access population-scale real world clinical data to model disease progression in dementia and identify potential modifiable factors to inform future interventions.    

Dementia diagnosis using electronic health records 

The lack of and/or a significant delay in diagnosis for people with dementia continues to pose a challenge for health care systems worldwide. This group aims to improve dementia diagnosis through the use of electronic health records in order to identify: a) quality of information around diagnosis, b) quantify current rates, and c) treatment outcomes for the different types of dementia. We will therefore collect the first scientific data reporting on the quality of diagnostic data using electronic health records across the different dementias in order to inform future research in the field. We will additionally investigate how the use of electronic health records can contribute to improvements in post-diagnostic care and support.   

Digital health interventions for the prevention and treatment of dementia 

Digital interventions have the potential to transform healthcare delivery, within the context of chronic disease. The aim of this group is to initiate and develop evidence-based approaches of digital interventions for people with mild dementia and their families and for specific groups of older people who are at high risk of developing dementia. We will use and synthesize knowledge generated across all Working Groups, and will work closely with key stakeholders in order to gain knowledge around digital health interventions by assessing i) clinical need, ii) key objectives of digital interventions and iii) which outcomes to target. We will use data derived across the network, and our clinical and research experts to apply for funding to develop the first service-user informed digital health intervention for people with mild dementia and their carers and assess its feasibility and acceptability.