Integrated approach for optimizing the treatment of elderly multimorbid patients with dementia

The CAREPATH project launched on July 1, 2021, is a European Horizon 2020 project that offers an ICT-based solution for the optimization of clinical practice in the treatment and management of multimorbid patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild dementia (MD). The CAREPATH project solution will target a more complex multimorbidity scenario and will follow an integrated patient-centered approach, in order to develop a flexible and modular system to provide an optimized and adapted framework of care that allows to increase independence and quality. life (QoL) of multimorbid patients with dementia.

The CAREPATH project focuses on improving healthcare interventions for the management of conditions in elderly multimorbid patients, which present many challenges for Europe, as existing healthcare systems remain focused on a single disease. Multimorbidity increases with age and is a key driver of health care costs and the sustainability of health systems around the world. This situation becomes more complex when multimorbidity is associated with dementia. There is no clear optimal course of care for multimorbid patients with dementia.

People with two or more chronic conditions, who also have dementia, tend to be at higher risk than those without dementia: a) multimorbidity can affect their dementia, causing its progression to accelerate, and b) dementia can aggravate their multiple conditions, hampering their effective management.

Global statistics support these observations:

  • 91.8% of people with dementia are multimorbid:
  • 13.2% with an additional condition,
  • 33.8% with two or three additional conditions,
  • 27.8% with four or five additional conditions,
  • and 16.9% with six or more additional conditions.

Diabetes and heart disease are common comorbidities in people with dementia. The experience of living with many illnesses is extremely difficult for patients and their caregivers. For example, cognitive impairment affects a patient’s ability to manage multimorbidity on their own, thus contributing to increased hospitalization rates. In the UK alone, between 45% and 58% of people with dementia and diabetes, stroke or visual impairment have used hospital services at least once a year, compared to a third party without any of these conditions.

The CAREPATH project offers an integrated care platform that jointly treats multimorbidity, dementia and reduced substantial capacity and optimally manages health interventions for its users (patients, family caregivers, care providers, etc.

The project will conduct a technical validation and usability (TVU) study involving more than 45 users and a clinical investigation (CI) involving more than 200 patients which will be carried out in four European countries (Spain, Romania, Germany and United Kingdom) . On the other hand, present guidelines for dementia / multimorbidity that will be designed for the best provision of health care. In addition to this, the CAREPATH project will introduce an assessment of the impact on the health economy for the profitability of health care and equality of care.

Finally, the CAREPATH consortium is well balanced both in terms of geographical distribution 10 partners from six countries, The consortium is made up of three categories of partners, two universities, four clinical partners, an R&D center and four SMEs. The project is coordinated by the company ECLEXYS SAGL Switzerland.

Fraunhofer FIT is a member of the consortium and is primarily responsible for collecting user requirements, performing usability studies and designing a corresponding architecture. In addition, Fraunhofer FIT will develop and integrate the polypharmacy module of the CAREPATH platform.


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