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The pilot course, within the scope of the European Co-Care project, also involved teachers, professionals and users
Final year students at the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (IPS) developed, together with informal caregivers, health and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) professionals, three digital applications to support those in charge of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The solutions developed, and which respond to different needs, are the result of a pilot training course in Portugal, carried out within the scope of the Co-Care project – Co-created ICT solutions for Alzheimer’s Informal Caregiving, financed by the European Erasmus+ programme. In addition to the IPS, other higher education institutions, user associations and professionals from the social, health and technology sectors from Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and Belgium are involved, under the coordination of the University of Vic (Spain).
The pilot course, which was already evaluated by the partners at the second transnational meeting of the project, recently held in Setúbal, aimed to provide knowledge and skills for co-creation, with the involvement of users, of solutions based on scientific evidence, thus introducing technologies information at the service of informal caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The training involved 11 graduate undergraduate students in the areas of Health Sciences (namely Physiotherapy and Speech Therapy) and Computer Engineering, in addition to six teachers, 10 informal caregivers, three health professionals and four professionals related to the ICT field.
Over 15 weeks, three multidisciplinary teams were created, which developed the Care-Coach, Rent-a-Care and MediControl applications, which received a very positive assessment by the panel of evaluators, given their relevance and usefulness to the public. -target.
Care Coach is an application focused on three central needs of informal caregivers, namely the organization of daily activities, scheduling of physical activity and well-being and communication with health professionals. In turn, Rent-a-Care intends to put in contact with informal caregivers looking for support services and the respective professionals on the market. Finally, MediControl was designed to support informal caregivers in medication management for people with Alzheimer’s disease, namely with regard to medication administration, stock management, prescription support and the search for medication-related information.
Running until December 2022, the European Co-Care project also proposes to present results in two other areas of intervention, through a kit of support tools for informal caregivers, which will enable them to choose the most appropriate technological solutions, and the implementation of an online community of practice, which will serve to support all the actors involved, accompanying the development of the course and the toolkit.