Nesta and GCU team up for dementia citizens platform research

14 October 2015

Nesta and GCU team up for dementia citizens platform research

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is working with innovation charity Nesta as part of a Government-funded scheme to create national understanding of the difficulties faced by those with dementia, and to remove stigmas around it.

GCU researchers will complete personal music playlists for a new citizen science platform, a research project which will explore the benefits of personalised music to those living with dementia and their carers through a new playlist app.

Citizen science is research conducted by crowdsourcing contributions, which unlocks new resources for research, experimentation and analysis, helping to provide answers to some of the big questions on how to address key social challenges.

The new Dementia Citizens platform (, which will be accessed through a website and smartphone apps, will allow people with dementia, and their families and carers, to take part in research – citizen science - and the information collected will then be used by researchers to design better care.

GCU researchers are currently developing a personalised music playlist app for dementia patients, working with charity Playlist for Life to identify the needs of patients and their carers in order to design and trial the app supported with robust research findings.

Researchers led by music pyschologist Dr Gianna Cassidy have received funding of £80,000 from the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation and the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, which aims to improve the physical and mental health of the people of Scotland through grants to support projects and initiatives not normally funded by the health service.

Dr Cassidy suggests that personalised music is a powerful, yet untapped tool for patient and carer wellbeing in dementia. Following the research, an advanced prototype app is expected to be ready in the spring of 2016.


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