SOS! App: Improving the Detection of Health Issues in Frail Seniors

SOS! App

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Raquel Meyer, Manager Ontario Centres for Learning, Research & Innovation in Long-Term Care

Project Title: SOS! A Gamified App to Improve Early Detection of Acute Deterioration Associated with Unnecessary Emergency Hospitalization in the Frail Elderly

What is the issue? 

In frail seniors, sudden health changes need to be identified quickly to prevent them from deteriorating or dying. Many older adults with dementia are unable to communicate their symptoms. Healthcare providers need to be able to recognize problems early so they can respond with timely care and prevent unnecessary visits to emergency rooms.  

What did we do? 

We tested and refined an app called the SOS Gamified App. It uses games and case studies to improve nurses’ knowledge about caring for frail seniors. A total of 123 nursing students tested and evaluated the app for three weeks. Overall, they played over 2,000 games and reviewed over 17,500 case studies. Our goal was to collect feedbackrefine the app, and make it ready for market.  

What did we find?  

The nursing students were quite satisfied with the app. They found it engaging, easy to use, and said it helped increase their knowledge and confidence about caring for frail seniors. Overall, they solved 65 per cent of cases correctly, with a variation of 12 to 90 per cent. A case took an average of 1.5 minutes to solve. The students’ ability to solve cases improved over time