Indianapolis, IN –Researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) Indianapolis recently announced a new tool available for Alzheimer’s patients’ caregivers – a ‘friend-sourcing’ app to help make more meaningful connections and open a new door for communicating and supporting one another.

This new tool allows caregivers to gain support, have questions and concerns answered by others as well as the ability to ‘share’ content out to each individual’s larger network for help.

A recent study by the Journal of Technology in Human Services about the app was also conducted during a six week period and participants reported a “decrease in burden and perceived stress level, and a higher score of emotional and informational support after the intervention.”

“Qualitative data analysis of the intervention identified positive effects in new caregiving knowledge acquisition and application and reduced stress in the acceptance of the caregiving role,” the study's researchers wrote. “Joining social networks in support groups through friendsourcing was feasible for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers who were familiar with social media, and can provide another means of guiding the development of their personal support networks.”

You can read more about the initiative, here, originally reported on

Why This Matters – 

One of the trends we’re following in 2018 is all around what we dubbed, Mini-Stars. This shift amplifies the impact smaller; more niche groups are having on brands. These micro-groups and people are having a profound impact overall, based on how loyal their followers are to their suggestions, as well as how open and transparent these people and groups are with their feedback.

It also caught my eye that this initiative is the first of it’s kind, that I am aware of, that is taking an existing platform (Facebook) and creating a healthcare focused group outside of that platform but that is well-integrated with the tool.  Most of the micro influencers we have followed on the innovation team have all resided within the walls of the existing social media platform, not independent of the tool.

In the end, it is always great to see caregivers, whom many would agree are the unsung heroes within a patient’s healthcare journey, receiving tools to help make their lives easier and more connected.

You can read the Mini-Stars trend and 74 other shifting expectations we are following in 2018 here.

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.