Early detection is one of the primary goals of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) - the national plan to end Alzheimer's disease that was passed into law in 2011. To Achieve this goal, We are developing an app with resources to help healthcare providers identify the signs of alzheimer's disease in patients. 

background on alzheimer's disease

  • 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Unless a cure is found, more than 16 million Americans will have the disease by 2050. 

  • Primary care physicians, nurses and social workers are the first line of defense for identifying early signs of Alzheimer's in their patients 

  • However, only 1 in 4 people with Alzheimer’s disease have been diagnosed. Primary care providers need better education to improve rates of diagnosis. 

The Project

Stanford Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) has multiple cores of which one is the Outreach, Recruitment, and Education Core (OREC).  Part of the mandate of the OREC is education about dementia and healthy cognitive aging to health providers, such as primary care physicians, nurses, social workers and others who deliver medical care to persons with dementia and their care partners.   

There is an incredible unmet need for quick tools that are easy to access and can be incorporated into the typical 20 minute office visit that is done by primary care providers. Having these materials in their smart phones, readily accessible and easy to use, would be a great advantage for early detection.

We are seeking to develop an easy point of access (web and mobile based) for health providers to a database of documents, videos, and audio recordings, which are currently under construction.  This is a long term project and any student involved would be working with us at the initial stages of development allowing for the greatest amount of input into the design and function of these applications.

There will be multiple avenues of research involved in this project surrounding preferred content, best delivery method (audio, text, video), outreach methods to health care providers, and utilization to name a few.  

technical skills

Students should have experience with or an interest in learning: 

  • iOS and Android app development

  • Web development skills

  • UI/UX design 

  • Interviewing and interacting with medical professionals for need-finding