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First Virtual Health Platform scientifically validated to reduce anxiety in caregivers of people with dementia

At the Association for Psychological Science, UC Berkeley researchers reveal People Power produced significant declines in anxiety for dementia caregivers.

PALO ALTO, CA, UNITED STATES, May 26, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- People Power Company, a Silicon-Valley provider of virtual health platform services, in collaboration with the Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, presented results at the 2021 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science from an NIA-funded research study titled “Developing and Evaluating In-Home Supportive Technology for Dementia Caregivers”. In this landmark randomized controlled trial study, People Power Caregiver was installed in 63 homes where a family member was providing primary care for a person with dementia. Homes were randomly assigned to either have the full system with all of its sensors and caregiving services activated, or to only have sensors for water leaks and temperature activated. In homes with the fully-activated system, caregivers reported a significant reduction in anxiety between three to six months after installation. There was no reduction of anxiety in the control condition. These findings support People Power’s goal of developing virtual health artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that help caregivers live healthier lives and provide better care for loved ones with dementia.

People Power’s in-home technology solution addresses a major public health problem. Caregiving for a family member with dementia is often associated with increased stress and anxiety, higher healthcare costs, increased mortality, and more frequent suicidal ideation in caregivers. When caregivers are in poor health, their ability to provide high quality care also suffers. Caregiving for a family member with dementia is becoming increasingly common as the population ages. Currently, 16 million family members and friends currently provide 18.6 billion hours of care each year for people with dementia in the US alone. A number of technology and smart home solutions for supporting caregivers have been introduced into the market, but until now, none have been rigorously evaluated.

People Power’s solution leverages passive in-home sensors similar to those found in a security system, and does not require cameras or wearables. Advanced machine learning and AI services are applied to learn individualized lifestyle patterns privately and securely within each home. The AI makes it feel like someone else is helping to continuously watch over the person with dementia’s activities and can alert caregivers to falls, wandering, nocturnal roaming, water leaks, and other potentially dangerous situations. Results of this research link greater reductions in caregiver anxiety with having more interactions with the People Power system.

“Caregivers of people with dementia experience much more anxiety than non-caregivers. UC Berkeley research has shown that caregiver anxiety is a significant predictor of greater suicidal ideation”, said Gene Wang, CEO and Principal Investigator. “After completing our research study, one participant commented that, ‘The system helped take the stress out of caring for my mom by having knowledge of her movements at my fingertips. It gave me incredible peace of mind to know that she was safe and it was a relief for me to know this without having to always look for her.’ ”

According to Robert W. Levenson, Ph.D., Director of the Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory: “It is really important that we do everything possible to ensure that products and services offered to dementia caregivers provide meaningful help and do no harm. We are proud to work with a company like People Power that has committed to rigorous scientific evaluation of its products and services. Dementia caregivers are a highly vulnerable population providing an extraordinarily important service. We owe them the best that technology and science can offer.”

People Power is working quickly to further advance the in-home AI solution in ways that will lead to cognitive and emotional improvements that start more quickly, last longer, and affect other aspects of caregiver health including reducing depression and increasing well-being. Additional randomized controlled trials are currently in progress and intend to evaluate these and future improvements.

About People Power Company
An industry-leading software services company providing a family-centric AI-powered virtual health platform for care service providers. People Power delivers patented machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies that address the immediate and emerging needs of professional and familial caregivers and the families they serve. Visit https://www.peoplepowerco.com.

About the Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley
The Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory (BPL) has been studying the impact of dementia on patients and caregivers for over 20 years in collaboration with researchers and clinicians at the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF. BPL has been working with People Power for the past five years to develop and evaluate products that improve the lives of caregivers and people with dementia. Visit: https://bpl.berkeley.edu.

Rainer Boelzle, VP Partner Marketing
People Power Company
rainer@peoplepowerco.com
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