The Memory Care Navigator: A Proactive Guide

Period of Performance: 09/30/2012 - 08/31/2013


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Proactive Memory Services, Inc.
Principal Investigator
Principal Investigator
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible neurological disease that progressively causes a tremendous toll in disability and societal cost. As our population ages, AD and other memory disorders will become increasingly prevalent. Patients and their families often find themselves lost in a complex web of multiple providers, receiving conflicting recommendations and confused by uncoordinated care. Memory Care Navigator is an innovative tablet / smartphone application that will guide individuals with memory loss, their family and health care providers through the complex process of obtaining a definitive diagnosis and assuring the best possible care. The Navigator takes advantage of Proactive Dementia Care, a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach pioneered by dementia specialists from the University of Utah Center for Alzheimer's Care, Imaging and Research that integrates health education and family support with the initial medical evaluation of memory loss. From the start, patients and their family members become empowered to improve quality of life, manage most day-to-day needs and become prepared to prevent unnecessary complications. The Navigator is modular, designed to addressing the specific care needs at each phase of the illness. Aggregating multiple evidence-based interventions and meant to enhance rather than replace professional health care providers and community services, it allows patients and family members to actively participate at every step and track progress in care while assuring that all critical topics are addressed. This application is submitted by PAMS, Inc., a University start-up company, that will leverage expertise of University of Utah faculty and business incubator services available through the University's Technology Commercialization Office. An experienced interdisciplinary team of 3 dementia specialists serves as principal investigators for this project, representing the critical expertise needed for successful product design and relevance to everyday patient evaluation and management. In Phase I, we will develop the essential components of Proactive Dementia Care in a format appropriate for translation into a computer program and produce a limited prototype for initial testing. This prototype will then be field tested in Phase II in preparation for selling the final product via an online applications store (e.g., the Apple "App Store") and seeking additional investment capital for continued expansion and updating of the application, marketing to the public and interested health professionals, and expanding the application to other platforms. The primary initial market for Navigator will be the children of individuals with a progressive dementing disease because they are both computer savvy and highly motivated to seek assistance in providing high quality care. However, spouse caregivers, health care professionals, and some patients may also benefit from such software. Modules appropriate for patients with cognitive complaints but not dementia will be developed later in product development, but are an additional important market. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Alzheimer's disease is a growing public health crisis, yet patients and their families often find themselves lost in the complex task of obtaining the best care available. We propose to develop Memory Care Navigator, an innovative, interactive tablet/smartphone application based upon Proactive Dementia Care that will guide individuals, their family members and their health care providers through the journey with Alzheimer's disease. Empowered with the tools they need and informed about the latest evidence-based care, families can achieve personalized, high-quality, cost-effective care, improve quality of life and avoid expensive unnecessary care crises.