Fall 2018 Projects

Industry Innovation Partnership Program – Round 3 Projects

A Pilot Clinical Trial of an Interactive Digital Technology in Treatment of Disruptive Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in a Care Home Setting – MindfulGarden
Host: Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre
MindfulGarden is a digital therapeutic device designed to de-escalate disruptive Behavioural and Psychological Systems of Dementia (BPSD). This randomized control pilot project comprising two sub-studies will determine feasibility and efficacy trends of applying MindfulGarden during routine care events well-documented for being challenging for residents and caregivers in long term care settings: morning care, bedtime care, and bathing.

Assessment of a Novel MRI Image Analysis Software Platform for Detecting Alzheimer’s Disease – Darmiyan
Hosts: Baycrest Health Sciences, Hamilton Health Sciences, University Health Network
Darmiyan is partnering with Baycrest, Hamilton Health Sciences, and the University Health Network to test their new MRI-based solution, which predicts whether pre-symptomatic and symptomatic individuals with cognitive impairment will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Darmiyan’s MRI-based predictions will be compared against gold-standard clinical assessments using retrospective and/or prospective study approaches.

Connected Healthcare for Seniors Living at Home with Chronic Disease – Catalyst Healthcare
Host: Pack4U, Alberta Health Services
Catalyst Healthcare proposes a multi-disciplinary approach of care team members including pharmacists, caregivers and the spencer medication adherence platform to provide healthcare in the homes of the high-risk, chronically-ill population. The intent of the project is to increase medication adherence and improve healthcare outcomes as well as collect informative data.

Promoting Cognitive Health for Seniors within Larger Healthcare Systems: Value of BrainFx Assessments – BrainFx
Host: Atrium Health, West Park
BrainFx assessments are focused on promoting cognitive health by measuring changes in cognitive performance interactively to assess more complex skills in a real-world, applicable context. This project will be used to demonstrate the value of BrainFx assessments with seniors, as well as to gather technical evidence, clinical feedback and economic benefits.

Effect of a Proactive Social Robot for Older Adults in Reducing Loneliness and Social Isolation – Intuition Robotics
Hosts: Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto; and Jewish Senior Living Group, San Francisco
ElliQ is a social robot that aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst older adults by providing companionship, enrichment and support. This mixed-method longitudinal study will be conducted to test the extent to which the product will decrease the feeling of loneliness and isolation in seniors. The efficacy of ElliQ will be determined via academic surveys and qualitative interviews with participants subsequent to a 2-month living period with the ElliQ robot.

Investigation of the Added Value of RetiSpec for Early Detection of Subtle Symptoms and Early Pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease – RetiSpec
Host: Toronto Memory Program
RetiSpec is developing a non-invasive, non-radioactive eye scanner to detect the presence of advanced dementia (AD) biomarkers in the retina. There will be two main goals for this project: first, to determine the safety and effectiveness for the early diagnosis and monitoring of AD by the RetiSpec device through human clinical testing. Second, to accelerate the Canadian commercialization process of a non-invasive, retinal scanner for the early detection of AD pathology years before clinical symptoms occur.

Ring of Support Multimodal Digital Engagement Program – MEMOTEXT
Host: St. Elizabeth Healthcare
MEMOTEXT will run an adaptive and personalized multimedia engagement system that aims to support both caregivers and seniors with early stage/mild dementia outside of the clinical setting. The main goal of the project is to validate that MEMOTEXT allows seniors to remain independent whilst living at home, as well as reduce the overall cost of long term healthcare interventions.

Simplifying Medication Management for Complex Patients: Discharge to Home – Pharmacy Access Solutions Inc and Health QR
Host: Health PEI – Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Pharmacy Access Solutions has developed a mobile platform to aid patients in prescription management in conjunction with their community pharmacists. The primary aim of this project is to determine the feasibility of electronically providing patient discharge reports directly to community pharmacy for the purposes of medication reconciliation. The secondary aim is to conduct a preliminary analysis to assess the impact of the improved communication process in emergency department visits and readmission rates in high-risk populations.

Using Intuitive eLearning to Provide Personalized Training to Informal Caregivers of Patients with Dementia During the Discharge Process – Trualta
Hosts: University of Florida, West Park
Trualta’s tech-enabled program provides skills-based training via an interactive online e-learning environment to family members caring for their aging loved ones during the transition from hospital to home. The project consists of two phases: an initial needs assessment to ensure seamless product innovation and a subsequent randomized control trial with caregivers to generate clinical evidence.

Researcher-Clinician Partnership Program – Round 3 Projects

Computerized Assessment for Post-Operative Cognitive Decline (POCD) in Elderly Surgical Populations – a Multi-Centre Study
Lead Researcher: Dr. Michael Schmidt
Co-Investigators: Prof. Gail Eskes, Dr. Thomas Schricker
Host: Dalhousie University
Additional funding from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF)
The DalCAB is a web-based tool designed to assess fundamental aspects of cognition that could bridge the gap in the lack of consistent method or tool to identify elderly patients at risk of developing POCD from the use of general anesthesia. The goal of this project is to develop a data set of pre- and post-operative cognition measured by the DalCAB, in view of various intra-operative measurements and treatments.

Development of a Novel Physician Quality Scoring Tool for the Post-Acute and Long-Term Care of Persons with Neurocognitive Disorders
Lead Researcher: Dr. Andrea Moser
Co-Investigator: Dr. Andrew Costa
Host: Baycrest Health Sciences
This project will develop a novel measure of physician performance in the care of persons with dementia in the nursing home referred to as the Physician Quality Score (PQS). The PQS will be derived from a core set of innovative, process-based, discipline-specific nursing home quality measures.

MedSafer e-Care: an Automated Deprescribing Solution for Community-Dwelling Older Adults Living with Polypharmacy
Lead Researcher: Emily McDonald
Co-Investigators: Dr. Todd Lee, Shawn Riel
Host: McGill University Health Centre- Research Institute
MedSafer is an electronic tool that automates deprescribing and generates individualized, prioritized deprescribing opportunities for older adults based on existing evidence from existing evidence-based algorithms. Primary objective of the project is to link MedSafer with the large multi-national electronic medical record MED e-Care, through an existing application programming interface (API) that provides clinicians with electronic patient-specific deprescribing reports.

Scalable Training and Web-Based Application Package for Offsetting Hippocampal Neurodegeneration using Google Streetview
Lead Researcher: Dr. Asaf Gilboa
Co-Investigators: Robin Green, Deborah Pal, Will Panenka
Host: Rotman Research Institute – Baycrest Health Sciences
This project aims to employ the widely available Google Streetview as a platform for delivering a specialized self-administrable virtual-navigation training that leads to hippocampal stimulation and activation. Testing aims to demonstrate that the platform is feasible, sustainable, and assists in memory improvement and reduced hippocampal losses.

Transforming Healthcare for Dementia Prevention: Health Behaviour Change as First Line Medicine
Lead Researcher: Dr. Kiran Rabheru
Co-Investigator: Prof. Keri-Leigh Cassidy
Host: Canadian Academy for Geriatric Psychiatry – Canadian Coalition of Seniors’ Mental Health
Additional funding from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF)
The Fountain of Health (FoH)minitiative is a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)-based wellness tool that act as first line medicine to prevent illness and promote health, to prevent dementia and disrupt the “disease model” of healthcare. FoH’s unique approach to dementia prevention employs well-established modifiable promoters of brain health/resilience—physical activity, social connection, brain challenge, improving outlook and mental health—utilizing effective goal-setting and behaviour change techniques.

Strategic Opportunity Fund

Testing Locally Developed Language Apps to Reduce Caregiver Stress and Promote Aging in Place Related to Dementia in Indigenous Populations
Project Lead: Dr. Carrie Bourassa
Host: University of Saskatchewan
This project will examine the suitability, effectiveness and use of five locally developed language apps in the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (all inclusive: Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota). This project introduces and tests applicability, user-friendliness, and impact to individuals affected by dementia and their caregivers over a 15-month period.