Interesting DISTINCT Remote Masterclasses: technology and social health in dementia

We are two Early Stage Researcher (ESRs) of the DISTINCT project. Our first winter school was supposed to be held from 8th to 13th March 2020, in Prague. The main aims of this school were training, academic seminars, and social activities. Another important aim of the school was to provide us an opportunity of networking with other researchers and building up connections with professionals in the field. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person school was unfortunately cancelled.

Excellent news for us as an ESR was that DISTINCT Consortium, INTERDEM Academy, and DeepSPA study group agreed to collaborate and organize us the first Masterclass with a variety of interesting and multidisciplinary subjects with a focus on improving the lives of people with dementia and their family by using advanced technology. On the 28th and 29th of April 2020, the two days online workshop was called to order. The first day was obligatory with more general subjects, such as outcome measures and social health in dementia research, experience sampling methodology, digital phenotyping, and early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. The second day was optional as it was covering more technical and practical aspects of speech processing.

On the 7th of May 2020, Maastricht University and Amsterdam University Medical Centers (UMC) organised in collaboration with the INDUCT and DISTINCT Consortium a second Masterclass. The online workshop was provided by Prof Rose-Marie Dröes. All the ESRs of the DISTINCT project learned and discussed in a ZOOM meeting about the concept of social health as a framework in dementia research and the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework to develop and evaluate complex interventions (see the picture above).

All participants received certificates as proof of their participation in the Masterclasses.

We are particularly grateful to the workshop organizers for their amazing work and to the speakers for sharing their knowledge with us.

Pascale Heins, ESR11 DISTINCT, PhD student, Alzheimer Centrum Limburg, Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neurosciences, Maastricht University

Golnaz Atefi, ESR 5 DISTINCT, PhD student, Alzheimer Centrum Limburg, Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neurosciences, Maastricht University

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