Technology Integrated Health Management for Dementia

15 November 2019

Beverley Marriott is a Frailty and Dementia Matron working in the Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust. She is also a King’s College Older Person Fellow. She tweets @bevbighair

Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust are part of the first test site pilot supporting to deliver TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) for dementia.

TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) for dementia is a pioneering study that aims to transform support for people with dementia and their carers. It is led by Surrey and Borders Trust in partnership with the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing at the University of Surrey and smart monitoring provider, Howz.

As we know Dementia is a growing challenge. As the population ages and people live for longer, it has become one of the most important health and care issues facing the world. In England it is estimated that around 676,000 people have dementia. In the whole of the UK, the number of people with dementia is estimated at 850,000.

Dementia mainly affects older people, and after the age of 65, the likelihood of developing dementia roughly doubles every five years. However, for some dementia can develop earlier, presenting different issues for the person affected, their carer and their family. There are around 540,000 carers of people with dementia in England. It is estimated that one in three people will care for a person with dementia in their lifetime.

TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) for dementia aims

  • to improve the lives of people with dementia
  • to support people with dementia to stay safe and well in their own homes
  • to reduce the need for hospital and care home admissions
  • to relieve the stress faced by carers

TIHM use a network of digital devices installed in a person's home, in combination with artificial intelligence, to enable clinicians to remotely monitor the health and wellbeing of the person with dementia. If the technology identifies a problem, an alert is triggered and followed up by a centralised monitoring team.

The first phase of the TIHM for dementia study was launched in 2016 and involved more than 400 people with dementia and their carers from across Surrey and NE Hampshire. Participants were involved in the study for six months.

Following positive findings, that were independently evaluated by the University of Surrey's School of Health Sciences, a second study was launched in April this year and will be completed at the end of September 2019. The aim of this second study, involving 120 people with dementia and their carers, is to further refine and develop the TIHM for dementia technology following feedback from participants in the first phase.

Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust plan to launch the pilot this year with support of the clinical case managers and single point of access (SPA) monitoring team who are instrumental in the pilots delivery – it’s an exciting opportunity to explore the impact of this technology delivering ‘fit for 2022’.

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