Awarded Highly Commended in the 2023 Future of Ageing Awards: The My Dementia Companion PRO app addresses the knowledge-to-practice gap in dementia care. It was developed to provide professionals in the aged care sector with practical tools for delivering effective dementia care.
Dementia care is a critical focus in aged care, but the persistent knowledge-to-practice gap poses challenges for effective implementation. Despite investments in dementia training, professionals often lack practical tools, leading to stress, inconsistency, time wastage, and suboptimal outcomes. Recognising this gap, My Dementia Companion developed the world’s first comprehensive practical dementia care app, My Dementia Companion PRO, aimed at seamlessly integrating into professionals’ workflows to enhance care delivery.
Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, and the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety emphasised the need for improved dementia care. The key issue is the knowledge-to-practice gap, hindering professionals from translating training into daily care practices. This results in time-consuming online searches for care strategies, system navigation, and risk mitigation, often lead to inconsistency and stress.
Identifying the Solution
The initiative began with the development of the My Dementia Companion CARER app, winning recognition in innovation challenges. Professionals actively sought a version tailored to their needs, leading to the creation of the PRO app. Co-design work involved extensive collaboration with professionals, management, clients, and family carers, ensuring the app’s practicality and relevance.
How it Works
The My Dementia Companion PRO app streamlines the assessment and care planning process, responds to individual needs, and guides the dementia journey in real time. It empowers professionals to deliver quality care within their workflow, saving 2-5 hours weekly. The app’s functionality includes assessing risks, providing evidence-based care strategies, and creating comprehensive care plans.
Developing effective care plans is crucial for quality care and compliance, especially when it comes to dementia care and management. The PRO app’s Care Plan feature streamlines this process by offering structured prompts for discussions on various care domains, ensuring a consistent and comprehensive framework for addressing topics like daily living, safety, memory challenges, and accessibility.
Extensive collaboration and engagement were essential for success. Stakeholders included C-Suits, General Managers, team leaders, dementia advisors, case managers, care coordinators, allied health professionals, clients, and family carers. Co-design involved in-depth interviews, workshops, and continuous refinement based on stakeholder input.
Funding and Development
Generous funding from organisations like the Arcare Family Foundation and the Telematics Trust supported the design, development, and testing of the PRO app. The innovation was strategically developed using lean, agile, and iterative methodologies, where development takes place through repeated cycles (iterations) and in small parts at a time.
Sustainability and Evaluation
The PRO app’s pilot achieved a remarkable Net Promoter Score of 90, with 8 paying customers within six months of launch. The commercial success and sustainability are demonstrated by the subscription model. Ongoing evaluation, including time savings, quality of advice, and auditability, is monitored through data analytics platforms and customer feedback.
Evidence of Success
- Net Promoter Score and Satisfaction: The PRO app received a Net Promoter Score of 90 during the pilot, indicating strong user endorsement and satisfaction exceeding 90+.
- Time Savings: Professionals reported saving 2-5 hours per week, emphasising the app’s efficiency in streamlining care delivery.
- Customer Uptake: Within six months, 8 paying customers, including prominent organisations, adopted the PRO app, reflecting high demand and recognition.
- Awards and Grants: Recognition from organisations like Arcare Family Foundation and Telematics Trust validates the app’s innovative approach and impact.
- Testimonials: Professionals express the app’s transformative impact on their daily practice, citing improved efficiency and confidence in delivering quality care.
My Dementia Companion PRO exemplifies genuine leadership and innovation in addressing the pressing needs in dementia care. The success is attributed to collaboration, strategic implementation, and continuous evaluation, ensuring a sustainable and scalable impact nationally and globally. The initiative demonstrates a commitment to positively impacting the lives of individuals living with dementia and their dedicated carers.