Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

A mobile application to lower dementia risk through healthy lifestyle

Behavioural Intervention for Reducing Dementia Risk: A Tailored Approach in the Digital Era (BIRD)

Dementia is a global public health problem given its rise in the number of people affected and associated healthcare costs. Since there is currently no cure for dementia, prevention of dementia is receiving more attention over the last few years. The Alzheimer Centre Limburg at the Maastricht University Medical Centre and Sananet work together to develop a mobile application to lower dementia risk and promote a brain-healthy lifestyle.

Research has shown that an unhealthy lifestyle may increase an individual’s dementia risk. The majority of people are however unaware that health and lifestyle adaptations might help to reduce the risk for dementia. Studies from the Alzheimer Centre Limburg have shown that more than half of people in the general population do not know that this risk can be influenced, or which factors are most important for good brain health.

The current project has therefore a number of goals: (1) to create more public awareness about the relationship between lifestyle and dementia risk; (2) to give people insight in their individualized dementia risk profile; and (3) to raise personal motivation to make healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes.

The target group of the current project are all persons between 40 and 75 years old. In order to accomplish these goals, the effects of a mobile application on lifestyle changes and motivation to make (healthy) lifestyle changes will be investigated in a pilot and effect study. Potential users of this mobile application will be involved in the development. Additionally, special attention will be given to the needs and wishes of people from lower socio-economic groups.