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KWIDO’S COGNITIVE STIMULATION WILL BE AT MEDICINE 2.0 IN MALAGA

October 6, 2014

The Kwido platform will be one of the stars of the 2014 Medicine 2.0 Europe congress – the world-wide landmark event in the eHealth sector, which will be held this year on the 9th and 10th of October in Torremolinos, near Malaga.

Iñaki Bartholomew, the CEO of Ideable Solutions, has been invited to give a lecture on Playing Games for Combating Cognitive Impairment on the 9th of October at 11:50 in the Sala Alhambra at the Sol Principe Hotel, where he will share our Kwido experience with the conference attendees.

Last year we were part of the 2013 Medicine 2.0 congress held in London where we presented the home-based care part of the Kwido platform at the event that marked our international launch. This year we will present our new solution for improving people’s day to day life: cognitive stimulation.

We want to show the specialists at the congress the cognitive stimulation platform that we have developed alongside psychologists and geriatricians; a platform which manages to bring a method of cognitive stimulation already proven successful on paper to different media platforms (tablets, digital whiteboards, digital screens, etc.).

Kwido’s cognitive stimulation is an integral platform which, via the control and management of psychologists and geriatricians, enables the prevention and slowing down of cognitive deterioration in elderly people, who can perform training exercises designed specifically for each user. Afterwards, medical professionals can monitor the data in order to evaluate the user’s performance and to keep them and their families informed of their progress.

Malaga is the chosen location for the seventh World Congress on Social Media, Mobile Apps and Internet/Web 2.0 in Health, a global landmark event in the field of eHealth and mHealth which last year saw more than 500 attendees come together for its 2013 event in London.

The Medicine 2.0 2014 programme comprises a series of conferences hosted by experts which will demonstrate how new technologies can be the solution for maintaining our health system and enabling a healthy and active life, as well as how they are already transforming the practice of medicine and the relationships between patients and healthcare professionals.

unai@ideable.net

Kwido games to combat depression in the elderly

October 1, 2014

Recent studies state that technology can help to improve symptoms of depression in elderly people.

In the most recent issue of “Nature Communications” magazine a study was published revealing that cognitive stimulation computer games can alleviate symptoms of depression in elderly people who do not respond well to treatment with drugs.

The main author of the study, Sarah Shizuko Morimoto of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, one of the most prestigious centres for clinical and medical research in the United States, started with the initial hypothesis that cognitive training can modulate those anomalies of the brain network that are common to geriatric depression and executive dysfunction.

Doctor Shizuko points out that around 40% of elderly people with depression have deterioration in the executive functions that are related to the brain functions which kick-start, organize, integrate and manage other brain functions. Impediments in the executive functions have an adverse effect on the ability to start, carry out and complete tasks, and prevent antidepressant drugs from working in elderly people with depression, leading to poor clinical evolution.

For her research, in collaboration with Bruce Wexler of Yale University, and other colleagues from Weill Cornell Medical College, the researcher has used cognitive stimulation computer games with the aim of “training” patients with depression to improve their executive dysfunctions.

The cognitive training program was carried out with eleven patients, aged from 60 to 89 years, who were resistant to treatment with medication.

The scientists verified that the cognitive stimulation games improved the symptoms of depression to the same extent as escitalopram, the reference antidepressant drug for these therapies, but that it does so in four weeks rather than the 12 that the drug treatment takes.

They also declared that the cognitive stimulation games aid the recovery of executive functions to a greater extent than the drug.

In the opinion of the researcher, “the recovery of the executive functions is particularly important because there is evidence that indicates that, even if the patients improve with antidepressants treatment, if their executive dysfunction remains, they will be left vulnerable to future relapses”.

The benefits of the reinforcement of executive functions were also seen in other cognitive aspects which had not been predicted in the experiment. Effects remained for three months after the treatment”, added the expert.

According to Doctor Shizuko, depression in the context of an aging brain is a multifactorial disease, with multiple causes and outcomes. “New therapies which use cognitive stimulation computer games could be very useful in those cases in which the patients do not respond well to drug treatments, and it is even possible that they can be applied to improve the effectiveness of existing medicines”.

This study has demonstrated that cognitive rehabilitation is a new non-invasive approach to the treatment of depression which until now has mainly been combatted with medicines and psychotherapy.

With our cognitive stimulation solution, Kwido Mementia, we provide psychologists with games which, like the ones used for Doctor Sarah Shizuko Morimoto’s research, are designed to adapt to each individual’s level of ability. We place particular emphasis on making them suitable, attractive and challenging, as when the patient’s ability improves, the difficulty level can be adjusted in order to ensure it stays within the recommended range for inducing neurogenesis.

With Kwido Mementia, psychologists can design their own training programs or use those that come ready and preloaded, bearing in mind that the platform is designed to register each of the participant’s answers and to generate data about whether the games work out as planned. In this way, health professionals can monitor all their patients’ data in order to assess their performance.

As Doctor Shizuko concludes in her study, “Our approach can be extended to other mental disorders by means of reprogramming directed to the brain circuits affected by those disorders”, which is why users of Kwido Mementia can train not only their executive capacities, but also 5 other different capacities (memory, calculation, attention, language and direction), and their psychologists can break down their performance across all of these in order to find out which require more work in later phases of the training.

Thanks to this research we can affirm that with Kwido, psychologists can improve their patients’ cognitive capacity, even alleviating the symptoms of geriatric depression.

unai@ideable.net

Kwido Mementia: digital platform for elderly cognitive stimulation

June 27, 2014

The elderly care platform Kwido continues to grow, seeking the best support and developing new solutions to improve the daily lives of our seniors. On this occasion, we are proud to present Mementia, a cognitive stimulation tool which offers psychologists and therapists a broad range of possibilities through a methodology designed specifically for them.

Kwido Mementia has been developed jointly by technological experts, Ideable Solutions, and specialists in cognitive rehabilitation, Cognitiva Unidad de Memoria, with whom we share a long-term collaborative relationship. The latest product of this collaboration is a multi-device platform which provides memory workshops, such as that of Cognitiva, with a multimedia environment to help reinforce therapies and improve adherence to treatment. So, whether via tablet, touch screen or digital whiteboard, elderly users can carry out individually designed training exercises, whilst professionals can monitor data to evaluate performance, keep users informed and notify relatives of their progress.

The principal characteristics of Mementia, focused on professional use, are:

  • Customization for each elderly user, with individual cognitive level, exercise complexity, objectives and specific games itinerary.
  • 48 activities installed, with 8,000 exercises to work on skills such as memory, calculus, executive functions, language, orientation and attention.
  • Tool for psychologists and therapists to create their own games.
  • Compatibility with multiple devices.
  • Real-time information on variables such as, amongst others, general cognitive index, emotional state or self-assessment.

This development is a step forward for the Kwido platform as an essential solution for daycare centres and elderly care homes of the future, as well for seniors, who can play with the different options available, from the comfort of their own homes or in centres, enabling them to maintain cognitive capacity in a fun way. What is more, it constitutes a technological leap, which covers a broad range of devices, from computers to Android tablets, iPads to Windows whiteboards or touch screens, to name but a few.

With Mementia, we are stepping up to meet the specific needs of people with mild to moderate cognitive impairment, age-related memory problems or brain damage; but also of those who prefer to prevent neurodegeneration and maintain their mental abilities.

 

Suzanne Hasler

Kwido’s new telephonic telecare awarded

June 17, 2014

Kwido is an elderly care platform via tablet, with which a diverse range of activities can be performed thanks to the tools it incorporates. As we have informed on a number of occasions, among its many functions, Kwido enables the user to keep track of medicines, carry out cognitive stimulation exercises through games, and monitor their state of health, both remotely or via videocalls, in order to maintain direct contact with doctors, relatives or carers.

The development of the platform is ongoing and whilst we continuously update the resources available, we also incorporate more tools according to the needs identified among users and the requests from health professionals using Kwido in their daily front line care work. This continuous improvement and constant search for innovative solutions sets the path we follow each day.

Once again, as so many times before, we came across a new problem to solve: What if the elderly user has no tablet? What if the carer has a tablet and needs to know the patient’s state of health? And if there is a major alert?

On the 6th and 7th June, at the TADHack 2014 event, held in Madrid, we tried to resolve these issues as part of their hackathon. So, by using API REST by Tropo, the platform is now able to make telephone calls to landlines or mobiles automatically if an incident occurs, meaning Kwido doesn’t require the elderly user to have a tablet. However, if they do own one, it can supplement its functions. Hence, when there is a warning that the tablet isn’t working, a reminder or medication alert to be delivered, a programme is executed which communicates the corresponding alert to the patient in a telephonic voice message via landline. With this resource, it is even possible to call the patient back to ask some questions and if there is no answer or an incorrect response is given, the application itself will call another person to inform them and send a notification to Kwido’s servers to register the event.

This breakthrough will make the platform much more complete but above all, it will enable even greater care of our elderly users and improve the efficiency of work carried out by healthcare professionals. With the development of this technology in Kwido, very useful tools can be included, with which it will be possible to generate voice messages via text commands, choosing from 24 different languages and even the type of voice in which you want the message to be sent. It will also be possible to send and receive SMS messages, transcribe and record voice messages, voice recognition, music playback and the ability to transfer calls or create conferences.

Ideable Solutions received the award, from the company Tropo, for Kwido’s telephonic telecare solution. The event, unmissable for telecommunications professionals, was attended by prestigious companies such as Huawei, Ubuntu, Oracle, Google or Tropo itself, amongst others; which only serves to multiply the value of this recognition.

tadhack

We thank both the organization and the sponsors for the chance to show  our progress in elderly care thanks to Kwido, as well as the attendees for their inspiration and collaboration. In particular, we would like to express our gratitude to Tropo, the company which in addition to awarding us for the development of this new form of communicating alerts on our platform, continues to invest in revolutionary technology to supply the world with new communication solutions. 

Suzanne Hasler

Telemedicine or telecare?

May 14, 2014

Recently, we dedicated a space on this blog to trying to understand the differences between telecare and advanced telecare, two buzzwords which are occasionally confused. Something similar happens with today’s topic of discussion: the difference between telemedicine and telecare. 

The development of the Internet has led to a breakthrough in the use of these techniques, which have been boosted further by the mobile revolution. Consequently, actions which previously required the intensive use of resources and time, can now be carried out more simply; saving resources, improving work efficiency and, most importantly, increasing the quality of service provision and avoiding unnecessary hospital visits.

The common use of the terms telehealth and telecare interchangeably in English, causes constant misunderstandings in other languages, which we will try to minimize:

  • Telemedicine is simply the provision of medical services remotely, thanks to the use of technology. This definition covers a number of activities, ranging from telephonic consultations with medical professionals, to the most complex surgical operations with remote-controlled robots.
  • Telecare, on the other hand, shares the attribute of using technology to provide treatment remotely, but has a somewhat broader approach. Telecare refers to activities related to the field of geriatrics, and not just medicine, with a marked preventative and follow-up element.

Thus, both terms are closely related, since they both depend heavily on the use of information and communication technologies. Moreover, beyond mere terminology, telemedicine and telecare should work together, complementing each other to maximize the efficiency of both systems.

Fundamentally, the ultimate objective of people’s wellbeing is shared, with both systems working together to promote personal independence among the elderly, improved quality of life for chronic patients and a more efficient healthcare system.

Suzanne Hasler