WHO and ITU launch new guide on introduction of dementia risk reduction and carer support programmes using mobile technology

WHO’s new mDementia handbook, launched today, will help countries to introduce and scale up dementia mHealth programmes (delivered through mobile devices, such as phones and tablets). The handbook and accompanying mHealth programme content includes a module on reducing the risk of dementia and another on support for carers of people with dementia. The handbook was developed by the WHO Mental Health and Substance Use Department and [email protected] BeMobile (BHBM), a joint initiative between the World Health Organization and the International Telecommunications Union.

The first of the modules, mDementionPrevention, aims to encourage people who are middle-aged or older to manage modifiable risk factors, such as physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy diets and harmful use of alcohol, to delay the onset or slow the progression of dementia. The second module, DementiaSupport, is based on WHO’s skills and knowledge training programme for carers of people with dementia, iSupport. It provides tailored support to address the physical and mental health impacts associated with caring for people with dementia.

The mDementia Handbook outlines how an mHealth programme can be used to strengthen existing dementia prevention and carer support programmes. It sets out the steps and considerations for successfully implementing mDementia at scale. The content can be adapted to support countries’ own national guidelines and existing health system interventions and to the local context and culture.

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