Breakthrough Device Designation Granted to Digital Intervention for Alzheimer’s

August 27, 2018  Source: MobiHealthNews 145

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A grave neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s whose cure is still unknown can now be managed with Dthera Sciences’ DTHR-ALZ, a novel digital therapy device which has been bestowed with the prestigious Breakthrough Device designation by the FDA.

The San Diego-based company and its sponsors will receive support from the FDA for speeding up the approval process and minimizing the expenditure for testing its’ under-process stage intercession.

Obviously I’m biased, but I think this is a great move by the FDA because it shows that they care for these patients and their families,” Edward Cox, CEO of Dthera Sciences, said. “To our knowledge, we’re the only non-pharmacological, non-pharmaceutical product to ever be given this designation for the Alzheimer’s indication. That means that they’re looking to make a difference with this public health crisis, as Alzheimer’s is the only top-ten, leading cause of death that has no cures and can’t be treated.”

The device is designed to help patients with Alzheimer’s by offering a tailor-made tab fitted with an inbuilt user-facing camera. The patient’s relatives or caretakers can feed in pictures or significant past moments which get projected onto a screen. The device’s AI based on biofeedback captures the reactions of the user as he/she browses through these images and data and accordingly modifies the display to avert or ameliorate the agitation or melancholy brought on by the memories. 

The underlying science behind DTHR-ALZ is something called Reminiscence Therapy, and Reminiscence Therapy has been around for many years and is very well accepted … in fact, the Alzheimer’s Association writes that it’s one of the leading ways to combat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s,” Cox said. “It’s very effective, and trial after trial has shown it to be something that makes a difference. The problem is that it’s very labor intensive. It’s not repeatable, and it’s not scalable. So we at Dthera, our goal is to bring reminiscence therapy to Alzheimer’s patients and their families using digital technology, and deliver it at scale.”

By Ddu
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