The BBHI obtains a project from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation to study and improve adherence to technology-based interventions to improve lifestyles

A project from the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative has been selected in the 2022 Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento call from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. The study, coordinated jointly between the Institut Guttmann and the Polytechnic University of Madrid, aims to better understand the factors that influence adherence to lifestyle interventions and create technological tools to improve this adherence.

Brain health has a direct impact on people's well-being and quality of life, delaying the onset of diseases. Thus, the study of the mechanisms to preserve it is crucial in an increasingly aging society in which, according to the WHO, by 2050 neurological disorders will be responsible for more than half of the global economic impact of disability. In this sense, the ToBrainHealth project aims to design and validate artificial intelligence models to obtain personalized recommendations for the promotion of brain health, identify factors involved in adherence to these interventions and predict their adherence.

Motivation, a key factor

The project has a duration of 3 years and will be directed from the Institut Guttmann by the researchers Javier Solana and Gabriele Cattaneo. 120 BBHI volunteers will participate in it. “There is growing evidence on the key role of motivation in adherence to interventions on healthy lifestyle habits, not only in those related to physical exercise but also to cognitive ones,” Cattaneo explains. For this reason, a deeper understanding of motivational barriers and facilitators would facilitate the user's acquisition of new personalized exercise programs and would optimize their effectiveness."

The 120 participants will have electronic wristbands and a mobile application that will provide them with personalized lifestyle recommendations, designed based on the information provided throughout their participation in the BBHI. “In interventions based on technological tools, like this one, adherence depends on the user's experience when using the tool. Therefore, when designing technology that promotes a change in behavior, we will take this emotional experience of the user into account”, explains Solana. In this way, ToBrainHealth will design the appearance and usability of the software, in addition to defining gamification strategies based on the profile of each user.