Joanna thanks for these great questions. Let's go through one-by-one:
1) Can you tell us more about how the idea is dementia-specific?
The idea revolves around using remote music therapy to stimulate nostalgia in dementia patients. Clinical research has helped validate how stimulating nostalgia at the right time can have positive impact on mood, anxiety, aggression, and depression of dementia sufferers, as well as help reduce over-medication. And to the central theme of the OpenIDEO challenge, improving outcomes in these areas can help reduce caregiver burnout.
2) What differentiates it from a customized playlist or AI - powered station?
The big question is who customizes the playlist, who plays the playlist, and when. These are non-trivial challenges for the already over-burdened caregiver. Memory Lane is designed to deliver context-based music therapy, catering to times of day and circumstances when the user would be most receptive to the therapy/music. For example, it would not make sense to play music when the user is asleep or napping, when they are out of the home, or when they are multi-tasking heavily or out of earshot of the base station. On the other hand, after they wake up in the morning or when they make a transition to lighter or sedentary activity, these are times when they may be more receptive. The application can adapt play times to the situational context of the user while still following the preferred schedule of the caregiver.
3) QMedic is able to adapt content based on situational context--e.g. whether the user is asleep or napping, awake, lightly active, moderately/vigorously active, in the home vs. out of the home, in close proximity to the base station or far away. This provides tremendous flexibility in when music is delivered and there is significant research out of both MIT and Northeastern (research upon which QMedic was founded) that demonstrate how these "just-in-time" interventions can play a key role in generating desired outcomes.
4) Could it be tied directly to behavioral management?
Yes, this is the primary purpose of Memory Lane: to help modify undesirable behaviors such as aggression, outbursts, and other extreme behaviors. The solution is optimized for both family caregivers and professional remote caregivers to conduct their own behavioral interventions. Most importantly, the system makes it easy to monitor objective outcomes before and after. For example, you could objectively measure sleep duration and disturbances, as well as activity levels, before and after intervention. There are other subjective and clinical measures that could be collected via surveys administered by the caregivers or other assigned third parties.
5) Do you know how much room there is for this idea to adapt and change and still be covered by Medicaid?
This is a broad question but there is latitude to adapt interventions utilizing QMedic's base station and still maintain coverage by Medicaid. And what's even more promising is that depending on whether clinical staff are conducting the intervention, recently approved legislation under the CHRONIC Act are paving the way for those remote interventions to be reimbursed in full by Medicare.
Hi Brittany, thank you for the feedback! We have actually paper prototyped the experience and shared with caregivers in the QMedic network. The journey map is coming together as well and we should be able to post it here by next week. The caregiver feedback will be included in answers to the refinement questions. There are a few key lessons from caregiver feedback:
*playing recordings/music needs to coincide with points in the day when the user would be receptive. It can't interrupt conversations or times when the user is deeply focused on completing other tasks/activities and unable to multi-task. *Caregivers valued the ability to schedule the content for the reasons stated above *Concept of personalized recordings (e.g. from grandchildren) were received very favorably. *There is an opportunity to use activity & sleep data from QMedic's wearable button to determine the right moment for music to play. When we presented the idea of playing music soon after the user wakes up, this was received favorably, with multiple caregivers saying it could energize the user for the day ahead. *There were concerns about the length of a song, even if the user loves the song. One caregiver proposed being able to demarcate shorter 10-second clips of a favorite song with the goal of simply prompting nostalgia. Having this flexibility would reduce the risk of the user getting annoyed from not being able to pause or stop a 3-5 minute song.