Mobile Apps May Help with Alzheimer's

You've probably heard of many different types of non-pharmacological therapies for Alzheimer's. But could mobile apps also prove helpful?
Mobile Apps May Help with Alzheimer's

Last update: 26 November, 2020

You probably use mobile apps every day. Indeed, these apps can be so helpful that it makes sense that they could also help with all types of dementia. This article centers on how mobile apps may help with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that’s characterized by cognitive and behavioral impairment. It usually appears in adulthood, particularly in old age (Valls-Pedret, Molinuevo, & Rami (2010)).

As the disease progresses, the sufferer loses both their autonomy and independence. Consequently, this often leads to a decline in both the patient’s and their family’s quality of life.

However, no treatment for this type of dementia is 100 percent effective. In fact, the best kind of treatment is a combined drug and non-drug therapy. Included in these treatments are ICT related therapies.

These ICT treatments tend to be resources, tools, and programs. They’re used to process, manage, and share information through various technological means such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc. (Rodriguez, S., 2016).

These resources, especially mobile apps, really help professionals who work with Alzheimer’s patients. For example, they support the development, follow-up, and achievement of certain treatments and their goals.

A man with his head in his hands.

Types of mobile apps that may help with Alzheimer’s

A mobile application is a program or software you download and access from your smartphone or other mobile devices (Gosalvez, D. and Rodero, D., 2012). According to Delia, Galdamez, Thomas, & Pesado (2013), there are three types of applications:

Web applications

These are designed to run in the browser of the mobile device. In fact, they’re developed using the same technology to create websites. Plus, the best thing about them is that you can use them with different browsers.

Native applications

These are designed to run on a specific platform. Therefore, you need to take into account the type of device, its version, and the operating system you’re using.

Hybrid applications

Finally, this type combines the best of the two previous kinds. Consequently, they’re the ideal application because they can adapt to any mobile device.

Areas in which mobile apps may help with Alzheimer’s

Monteagudo (2012) states that mobile apps may be used in different areas:

  • Investigation.
  • Diagnosis.
  • Treatment.
  • Prevention.
  • Health and social care.
  • Improving the quality of life of both patients and their families.
A medic using a mobile device suggesting mobile apps may help those affected by Alzheimers.

How mobile apps may help with Alzheimer’s

Telediagnosis

You can identify symptoms and irregularities remotely. In addition, you can extend the coverage to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Furthermore, mobile apps in telediagnosis could be invaluable in diagnosing Alzheimer’s early.

Telemonitorization

You can track the patient from a distance. Thus, the health professionals can pay more attention to the health care and treatments they carry out. Furthermore, you can use telemonitoring as a complementary procedure to telediagnosis.

To help the carer

Unfortunately, the carer always carries the greatest burden. However, mobile apps that are currently available can really help them. For instance, the carer can source information of interest, locate the patient, or find a support group to rely on.

Monitoring the basic and instrumental daily life activities and patients’ progress

You can monitor how the illness progresses and develops. Therefore, results of cognitive function tests can be assessed. 

Also, you can monitor patients’ progress in various nominated tasks.

Users gain independence and autonomy

With some of these applications, the user can locate and find the patient. Furthermore, they can identify others who might be very close by.

In conclusion, Alzheimer’s patients and their families may really benefit from using health and social care mobile apps. Furthermore, mobile apps can make carrying out therapeutic processes much easier.

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