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Software reduces psychotropic drug use in seniors with dementia

February 20, 2015
by Richard R. Rogoski
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A year-long study conducted by It's Never 2 Late (iN2L) and Western Home Communities has shown that the use of personalized technology for seniors living with dementia can lower the need for as-needed psychotropic drugs. The findings of the study were made public by the LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST).

For the study, Martin Health Center, a skilled nursing facility in Cedar Falls, Iowa, installed iN2L's adaptive computer systems as a non-pharmaceutical intervention. When residents began to show signs of a dementia-related episode, their attention was redirected to a computer game, favorite TV show, calming music or spiritual content, depending on their personal preferences.

The study showed that 50 percent fewer residents required as-needed psychotropic drugs when they were redirected toward a personalized computer program. In addition, there was a 20 to 50 percent reduction in the total number of doses administered.

"These preliminary results are impressive and important, particularly now that the reduction of psychotropic medications use is factored in CMS’ five star quality ratings," said Majd Alwan, PhD, senior vice president of technology at LeadingAge and executive director of LeadingAge CAST, in a press release.

Jack York, CEO of iN2L, added: “Our mission is to help residents achieve the best quality of life using engaging, personalized technology. Residents stay engaged with the world when they have access to communication applications such as email, Skype, interactive music, games, art and an assortment of entertainment content.”


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