DataDay: A Daily Support App for People with Dementia

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Arlene Astell, Ontario Shores Research Chair in Community Management of Dementia

Project Title: DataDay: Daily support for people with dementia

What is the issue?

Dementia is an age-related condition that progressively undermines an individual’s ability to look after themselves. The majority of people with dementia live at home, relying on family and friends for support. People with dementia are twice as likely to be hospitalized and visit emergency departments for potentially preventable conditions.

What did we do?

We developed DataDay, an app that helps people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment. It keeps track of cognition, foods eaten, mood, and physical activity. The goal of the app is to help people with dementia, their family members, and clinical teams spot early signs of trouble and prevent unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital stays. We asked people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment to test the app for six months.


What did we find?

During our study, there were no emergency room visits or unplanned hospital admissions. Daily tracking effectively flagged signs of change as soon as they occurred. The app provided reassurance to people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment and their families. It also allowed clinicians to target their efforts to people with the greatest needs.