By Serenity DTx
Dementia is the third leading cause of death among seniors in Canada. There is no cure and seniors with dementia in long term care are over-sedated and treated with high-risk ‘black box’ antipsychotics. In fact, in Canadian long term care homes, 2 in 9 residents are taking antipsychotic drugs without a diagnosis of psychosis. Dementia care in Canada is projected to cost $16.6 billion by 2030. Nine seniors are diagnosed with dementia every hour. There are four drugs approved by Health Canada but are limited in scope and efficacy and care aids are under severe psychological stress. Currently, 62% of seniors in Canadian long-term care have been diagnosed with dementia.
The Serenity DTx solution is non invasive, non-pharmacological, costs effective and enjoyable. The platform combines immersive virtual reality visuals, binaural beat audio and meditative narration to treat seniors with dementia. Studies demonstrate that virtual reality-based interventions that include cognitive training can be beneficial and may have lasting effects.
The global healthcare market for virtual reality is significant and growing. In 2021 the total addressable market for virtual reality in healthcare was $2.1 billion USD. The projected growth is estimated at $57 billion by 2030 with a compounded annual growth rate of 38.75%.
The company conducted a systematic review meta-analysis on the effect of virtual reality on aging adults and adults with dementia or mild cognitive impairment with significant, positive efficacy indicated. In the spring of 2022, Serenity DTx Inc. conducted a pilot project involving 37 senior residents of West Coast Senior Housing Management’s Summerland Senior Village, B.C. property, using the Serenity platform to reduce anxiety and improve cognitive performance.
The company, based in Calgary, Alberta, plans on conducting a clinical trial in the new year. Serenity DTx delivers a better quality of life, can reduce the use of dangerous drugs, reduce staff burnout, enhance resident experience at long term care centres, and reduce costs for dementia care in Canada.
Jane Berrisford, Manager of Recreation and Volunteer Services at Summerland Seniors Village was very supportive at the conclusion of the pilot. “As a recreational therapist, I’m always interested in solutions for health and wellness that do not involve pharmaceuticals. The results we witnessed using Serenity’s digital therapy have been nothing short of amazing. On day one, we observed a resident with advanced dementia become calm as soon as the headset was placed on her head and the immersive experience began. She is non-verbal but does usually make sounds; these quieted right away and didn’t resume for some time after her immersive experience ended. She even crossed her ankles at one point!”
More happy days for seniors means fewer dangerous drugs and lower costs. www.serenitydtx.com
SerenityDTx is a Member of Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery. Visit rc-rc.ca to learn more.