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Digital Memory Notebook App for Functional Independence


This study will investigate the efficacy of smart home/digital memory notebook (DMN) technology to improve functional independence in adults with memory problems. The technology consists of two components: an app installed on a mobile tablet and smart home technology that recognizes activities and provides information about functional status and health for participants. The goal is to demonstrate if intelligent technologies can improve the efficacy of traditional memory techniques, extend functional independence, reduce caregiver burden, and improve quality of life.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
40 Years N/A All No
August 1, 2018
August 30, 2021

  • Self-reported memory problems
  • Memory problems documented by testing
  • English speaking

  • Lack of awareness about memory difficulties

Over the course of 6 months, participants will complete monthly questionnaires assessing depression, quality of life, coping, everyday memory, and functional abilities, as well as cognitive and motor tests. They will learn how to use a DMN to support daily activities, using it for 3 months following training. Additionally, half of the participants' homes will be equipped with "smart home in a box" technology that will support DMN use.

The smart-home technology prompts will center on helping users organize and schedule daily activities, record both routine and uncommon events that may need to be remembered, and record activities performed. Prompting is designed to promote everyday functional independence by encouraging frequent and regular notebook use and reducing memory difficulties.

Care partners (when available) will complete the same questionnaires as participants, as well as an additional questionnaire about caregiver burden. Participants and care partners will also answer open-ended questions designed to help improve the DMN and its training procedure, the prompting technology, and its integration with the DMN.

Participants in the smart home condition will use the DMN in conjunction with prompting technology for the third month, only the DMN for the fourth month, and again the DMN and prompting technology for the fifth month. Control participants will use only the DMN for all three months and will rely on traditional methods (e.g., time-based alarm cues, sticky notes) to support DMN use rather than the smart home technology. 

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Washington State University - Pullman
Pullman Washington 99164-4820 Recruiting Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, PhD

Washington State University

  • United States Department of Defense

Name Role Affiliation
Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, PhD Principal Investigator Washington State University

Name Phone Email
Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, PhD 5093350170
Stephanie Saltness, B.S. 5093354033


Evaluating a Digital Memory Notebook Intervention to Improve Independence and Quality of Life