Vera – an intuitive music intervention tool designed for dementia care – developed by music wellness technology innovator Music Health, has been launched.
Through an industry-first strategic agreement, app users can access the entire catalog of Universal Music Group (UMG), the global leader in music entertainment, to develop personalized music stations specially designed to improve the lives of people living with dementia every day.
As an exclusive launch partner, UMG offers a diverse and comprehensive global music catalog to Vera users.
Vera is now approved by Apple for download via the AppStore in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and US, with the cross-industry Music for Dementia campaign hailing the launch to help improve lives people affected by dementia.
The launch is the culmination of Music Health‘s rigorous three-year development process, which involved worldwide research and development of the underlying technology that allows Vera to select the perfect song at the right time for each individual listener.
The announcement follows Universal Music UK’s launch of Power Of Music, a report by UK Music and Music for Dementia, which outlines a plan to use music to help transform communities and improve people’s health and wellbeing. the nation. It includes a commitment from Universal Music UK to develop a dynamic online resource that will act as a hub of information about music and dementia.
Grace meadows, Campaign Director, Music for Dementia, said: “Research shows that music has a much greater impact on people with dementia when it has meaning and is associated with moments in the life of somebody. In our recently launched Power of Music report, which outlines how we can further harness the power of music to support health and wellbeing, we highlighted the need for a personalized approach to integrating music into healthcare. and social, and the Vera app helps caregivers do just that.
The power of personalized music to affect significant improvement in cognitive function for people with dementia is highlighted by international scientists and neurologists, including award-winning neuroscientist and best-selling author, Daniel J. Levitin; the late physician, best-selling author and professor of neurology, Dr Oliver Sacks; and Ronald DevereMD, director of the Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Ren Minghui of the World Health Organization stated: “Although there is no cure for dementia, proactive management of modifiable risk factors can delay or slow the onset or progression of the disease. I urge all stakeholders to make the most of these recommendations to improve the lives of people with dementia, their caregivers and their families. »
Vera analyzes the age of the person with dementia, where they grew up and how they react to certain music. He uses these criteria to autonomously select the right songs at the right time to effectively manage behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).
More than 80% of people with dementia suffer from BPSD, manifesting as agitation, aggression, depression or confusion. Vera stimulates the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory to help manage the impact of BPSD, making the care routine of people with dementia easier. Listening to meaningful personal music – all the notable songs from our own lifetimes – has been shown to effectively decrease the effects of SCPD by helping to improve mood, cognitive function, motor function, and brain plasticity.
Vera curates songs from UMG’s unrivaled catalog, the world’s largest, most diverse and culturally rich collection of blues, classical, country, folk, jazz, pop, R&B, reggae, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and soundtracks. Songs are self-organized and played directly from the Vera app through speakers or headphones.
With over 20,000 hours of rigorous observation and analysis, combined with research from the Global Center for Modern Aging, confirms that Vera has a significant positive impact on the quality of life of people with BPSD. Although not a cure, Vera is a tool that can temporarily improve the cognitive function and mood of the person with dementia, making it easier to manage them.
Stephen Hunt, co-founder of Music Health, said, “We designed Vera to know and find the music that means the most and has the greatest effect for everyone with dementia. He acts like a music sleuth, looking for tunes they loved a long time ago but may have forgotten, their caregivers may never have heard of, and their families may not know. – not even be.
Vera is a product of Australian collaborative innovation. Music Health thanks Barossa Village, Dementia Australia, the Australian Department of Health and the Global Center for Modern Aging (GCMA) for helping to deliver the innovation since 2019.
The Department of Health awarded a research grant in 2019, after Vera won Dementia Australia’s Decoding Dementia competition.
“I am thrilled that we were able to bring Vera to market thanks to our incredible partnership with Universal Music Group and the many care homes and researchers who made this possible. It was through their early support of the concept that we were able to bring about this change. fundamental in the daily lives of people with dementia, here and around the world,” added Hunt.
Michael NashUMG’s Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, said, “From rigorous workouts to peaceful meditation to restorative sleep cycles, music is deeply integrated into many innovations supporting health and well-being.
“Now scientists are discovering that music is also a powerful tool to help those suffering from the effects of dementia and memory loss. At UMG, we work with a wide range of companies to develop therapeutic applications of music. music and we are proud to partner with Music Health on Vera to help improve the lives of so many people around the world.
Barossa Village, a senior care organization, worked with Music Health to refine the app and validate Vera’s impact on people with dementia. This included daily monitoring of the changes Vera had on those cared for at Barossa Village, as listening sessions were incorporated into the daily routine of care. Study results showed an overall increase in participants’ quality of life, especially after using Vera for several months. You can watch a video of the Barossa Village experience here.
Matt Kowald, General Manager, Integrated Care at Barossa Village, said, “Vera offers playlists that are targeted and tailored to how each of our residents relates to their favorite songs. It is an amazing innovation. And family members love it because they can participate in a shared experience with mom or dad, grandpa or nanna.
Vera is currently in a trial phase with BUPA, an international healthcare company headquartered in the UK serving more than 31 million customers worldwide, as well as with several of Vera’s healthcare providers. Australia’s most innovative healthcare and aged care provider offering hospital care, residential care and community services.
Vera is available in:
• Australia for AUD $119.99 for a 12 month care plan.
• Canada for CAD $89.99 for a 12 month care plan.
• New Zealand for NZD $119.99 for a 12 month care plan.
• UK for GBP 69.99 for a 12 month care plan.
• US for $89.99 for a 12 month care plan.