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Care4AD: A Technology-Driven Platform for Care Coordination and Management: Acceptability Study in Dementia.

Mishra RK, Park C, Momin AS, Rafaei NE, Kunik M, York MK, Najafi B. Care4AD: A Technology-Driven Platform for Care Coordination and Management: Acceptability Study in Dementia. Gerontology. 2022 Sep 12; 69(2):227-238.

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INTRODUCTION: The technology-driven solution can reduce the caregiving burden; however, the needs of dementia caregiving are unique, and attitudes towards adopting technology from the perspectives of all the stakeholders involved in dementia caregiving are unclear. This study aims to assess the acceptability and feasibility of a technology-driven platform to facilitate care coordination platform, Care4AD, from the end-user perspective. METHODS: Care4AD includes three components: (1) Care4AD app: the app is used by caregivers to coordinate care, monitor physical activity, and schedule reminders; (2) Care4AD tablet: a smart tablet is used by the care recipient to display scheduled reminders; and (3) Care4AD tags: a series of wireless sensor tags attached to various objects of daily care to facilitate monitoring instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and adherence to scheduled tasks. Stakeholders in caregiving, including 11 experts in dementia care (age: 53.3 ± 8, 73% female), 10 individuals with dementia (IWD) (age: 76.1 ± 7.3, 50% female), and 14 caregivers (age: 66.9 ± 10.6, 75% female) were interviewed to determine perceived ease of use, attitude towards use, and perceived usefulness, based on the technology acceptance model (TAM) questionnaire. Additionally, we assessed technology anxiety and concerns with data sharing by caregivers and IWD. The interviews were conducted through videoconferencing or in-person meetings. The interview was composed of open-ended questions, a demonstration of the proposed Care4AD platform, and a survey based on TAM. RESULTS: Compared to the neutral response, stakeholders showed significantly higher acceptance (70-100% satisfied to highly satisfied, p < 0.05) for all components of the TAM. Among IWD, age (r = -0.68, p = 0.03) and for caregivers the perceived ease of use (r = 0.73, p < 0.01) were significant predictors of attitude towards using the technology. Interestingly, neither concerns about data sharing nor educational level were limiting factors in the acceptability of the system in our sample. CONCLUSION: Overall, the results support a high perception of usefulness, ease of use, and attitude towards using Care4AD. The key barriers to adopting such technology are the age of IWD and the caregiver''s perception of ease of use. Future studies are warranted to explore the effectiveness of such a platform to reduce caregiver stress and improve the quality of life and independence of IWD.

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