This article was originally published here
Stud Health Technol Inform. 2021 May 7;279:1-9. doi: 10.3233/SHTI210081.
The benefits of eHealth interventions for people with dementia and their informal caregivers have been demonstrated in several studies. In times of contact restrictions, digital solutions have become increasingly important, especially for people with dementia and their mostly elderly caregiving relatives, which are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. As in many other health areas, there is a lack of digital interventions in the dementia landscape that are successfully implemented (i.e., put into practice), especially digital interventions that are scientifically evaluated. Evaluated and proven effective digital interventions exist, but these often do not find their way from research into practice and stay on low-level implementation readiness. Within the project digiDEM Bayern, a digital platform with digital services and interventions for people affected by dementia (people with dementia, caregivers, volunteers and interested citizens) is established. As one digital intervention for informal caregivers, the ‘Angehörigenampel’ (caregivers’ traffic-light) was developed, which is able to assess the physical and psychological burden of caregivers. This can help to counteract the health effects of caregiving burden early on before it is too late. The development of the digital intervention as a WordPress-plugin was kept generic so that it can easily be adapted to other languages on further websites. The ‘intervention as a plugin’ approach demonstrates an easy and flexible way of deploying eHealth interventions to other service providers, especially from other countries. The implementation barriers for other service providers are low enough for them to be able to easily integrate the eHealth intervention on their website, enabling more caregivers to benefit from the disseminated eHealth intervention.