Caregiving Club and Cranium Crunches mHealth App Cares for Caregivers
Written by Alyssa Clark
Upon the fusing of Caregiving Club with Cranium Crunches, a new and improved way of providing Caregivers with attentive mental and physical support, built from their stressful yet important careers, has been born in a new mobile application. This new smartphone app entitled “RELAX”, is designed to improve the mental health and stress levels of the nation’s 65 million caregivers, in order to better improve their overall wellness as individuals and professionals. Full of self-help tips, techniques and regimens to improve caregivers overall wellness, this application is set to change the game for caregivers everywhere by forcing them to help themselves just as much as they help others.
The application can be used on multiple “smart” devices: Google play, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Android and other Windows 8 handheld mobile devices. Later this month, an Apple IOS version will come out in order to equip iPhones and iPads the same way as the other devices. Offered for free (but including advertisements), the application also comes in a $0.99 version which remains advertisement free.
“In a caregiver health risks study, the difficulty managing stress was the No. 1 challenge for caregivers and over time becomes a slippery slope of declining health,” says Sherri Snelling, CEO of Caregiving Club. “When Cranium Crunches reached out to us about creating a special caregiver app, we found their concept for RELAX a perfect way for caregivers to find their Zen zone using it as a complement to our Me Time Monday program, a core part of our mission and message to help guide caregivers to better health and wellness.”
The app features a four step program that works to include an array of guided relaxation practices, yoga videos, an interactive journal and the ability to learn more about stress triggers and ways of coping with those stresses. These four steps specifically include:
1) Guided relaxation: complete with 3-8 minute slideshows displaying deep-breathing techniques, full body relaxation with meditation tips, visual journeys to your choice of a forest, ocean or personalized “peaceful” place. After the caregiver has experienced one of these helpful suggestions, they can record their experience in their journal (improvements are also continuously being looked to here for areas like Dementia and Alzheimer’s) in order to track their long-term experience.
2) Physical Exercise: Two yoga videos demonstrating different poses to help stretch the body and help deliver more blood to the brain.
3) The Journal: An outlet for caregiver’s to track their progress, document their experience and share their learning/growing experiences as each individual goes through this guided process.
4) Learn: Flash cards with information about managing stress and brain heath are available for caregiver’s reference. Podcasts are also set to become available in order to keep caregivers in the “know” in terms of their personal wellness.
“Most of us know we should exercise our bodies for better health but that is only one-half of the health and wellness equation – brain fitness is equally important,” says Ruth Curran, founder of Cranium Crunches. “When caregivers are challenged by stress, brain games that aid relaxation can be the prescription needed, especially for the 15 million caregivers of those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease who report higher stress levels than most other caregivers.”
Alyssa Clark is the Editor of Healthcare Global
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”