Indiana University is receiving nearly $4 million from the National Institute on Aging to study Brain CareNotes, a telehealth mobile app. IU says the grant will fund a five-year clinical trial of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia telehealth intervention.
IU says the I-CARE 2 trial will measure the impact of the app on informal caregivers of patients living with ADRD.
“The I-CARE 2 trial will be nearly three times the size and a much broader study than the first one,” said Dr. Richard Holden, co–principal investigator. “This will be the definitive trial to tell us whether the app improves informal caregiver and patient health outcomes.”
The app aims to help caregivers manage behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, including wandering, agitation, depression, and insomnia. After six months of use, IU says the app was shown to ease caregiver burden and reduce behavioral symptoms in the dementia patients.
“Our first trial had a sample that was over 40% African American and we intend to continue our efforts to enroll a diverse sample, including a larger proportion of Hispanic participants,” Holden said. “We are trying to change the current trend that clinical trials in ADRD underrepresent racial and ethnic minority groups. Our interventions should work for everyone.”
IU School of Medicine Professor and co–principal investigator Dr. Malaz Boustani says the app also saves money for the healthcare insurance and payer.
“In one of our studies, it saved close to $3,500 per member per year,” said Boustani. “The I-CARE 2 trial and Brain CareNotes are trying to scale this evidence-based collaborative care model, so that the only thing you need is Internet connectivity and the ability to interact with a community health-based worker via this telehealth mode of delivery.”
The funding was awarded to researchers in IU’s School of Public Health and School of Medicine.