3-year innovation project with the Danish Life Science Cluster is completed
with the Brain+ CST-Therapist Companion product as the final output
- The 3-year ‘CIRCULAR Co-Creation’ project has been the backbone of the development of all the Brain+ Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) products and has resulted in the first Brain+ digital CST prototype, and ultimately in the first Brain+ CST dementia product, the CST-Therapist Companion.
- The project has additionally given deep hands-on experience with delivering digital CST to people with dementia, both at home and in group settings in the clinic. This experience has been crucial for adapting the CST-Therapist Companion product to the user’s needs and the delivery setting. In particular, the project involved a team of researchers led by Rikke Gregersen, Ph.D., senior associate professor at the Research Program for Dementia at VIA University College. Rikke Gregersen is a leading expert and key opinion leader on CST in Denmark. Rikke Gregersen has adapted and translated the original English CST manual into Danish and played a key role in bringing CST to Denmark, and in this project in adapting CST to the digital format.
A 3-year collaboration project between VIA University College, MedTech Innovation Consortium (MTIC), and Brain+ has been completed. The project aimed to bring digital health solutions to people with dementia, in particular, solutions based on Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, an evidence-based therapy for people with mild to moderate dementia, supported by the World Health Organization. This objective has been fulfilled as a key result is the Brain+ product, CST-Therapist Companion, a digital tool for CST therapists. This product was launched in November 2022 and is now being commercialized by Brain+ in Denmark and will be introduced in Germany in Q2 2023. The project has been funded by the European Union and Denmark’s Business Promotion Board (Danmarks Erhvervsfremmestyrelse).
A close collaborative process between Brain+, academics, clinicians, and Danish municipalities
In the process the Brain+ team has worked closely for years with the partners, gaining hands-on experience with the use of digitally delivered CST. The first output was an initial Brain+ digital prototype of CST. Based on positive feedback from users and clinicians from the municipalities working with people with dementia, it was decided to proceed with creating a full product with 24 CST sessions. This has been a thorough and iterative process to adapt CST content to a digitally delivered format for use in CST group sessions, with the aim of delivering CST directly in people’s homes. In the project, the CST prototype has been in the hands of therapists and people with mild to moderate dementia in several Danish Municipalities, which has yielded invaluable experience that has been shaping the design of Brain+ digital CST, and the CST-Therapist Companion product. Particularly the Municipality of Syddjurs has been a key contributor to the project and their inputs have been very valuable. There were also numerous learnings from both the academic and market near multi-partner collaboration, including some data collected in the final part of the project becoming inaccessible due to procedural errors, resulting in improvements in collaboration processes. All-in-all, the project has been another example of the successful open collaboration approach of Brain+, resulting in a market-ready product that has been co-developed with all the relevant stakeholders in the dementia ecosystem in Denmark.
Future collaboration with VIA University College and Danish Life Science Cluster expected
The years of collaboration have created a tight working relationship and shared interest and the parties are already in ongoing dialogues about follow-up initiatives, which could include larger studies of the Brain+ CST products.
About Danish Life Science Cluster
Danish Life Science Cluster is Denmark’s national life science cluster (https://www.danishlifesciencecluster.dk). We work to translate the unique Danish research and knowledge within life science and welfare technology into new and better commercial solutions for the benefit of companies, healthcare, municipalities, and citizens throughout Denmark. The Danish Life Science Cluster is also a member of the European Network of Life Science Clusters (ENLSC).
About Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST)
In 2020, Brain+ partnered with researchers and clinicians in Denmark to digitalize an evidenced-based manual therapy, CST, targeting people with mild to moderate dementia. Cognitive Stimulation Therapy uses psychosocial interaction to stimulate cognition and create new associations via existing memories, stimulation of memory networks, and imagination for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. It also works to increase the quality of the patient’s interaction with their caregivers, as it facilitates a structured way to engage socially. It provides orientation to make the participants feel safe and self-confident, stimulating cognition through multiple sensory activations, and using reminiscence as an aid to the here and now. Brain+ digitalized version of the CST product is designed to be used at home or in a clinic. It is currently undergoing clinical trial validation to prepare for commercialization. CST is recommended to be ‘implemented globally’ in the World Alzheimer’s report 2022