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New app promises wellbeing benefits for people with Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s WA has launched ImpactHD, a web-based app that is a world-first attempt to translate clinical research into Huntington’s Disease into self-directed therapy to improve the wellbeing of people living with the degenerative neurological condition.

Phase one of ImpactHD was made possible via a grant of $100,000 from Impact100 WA and includes a physical exercise module targeting at-risk, pre-symptomatic and mild individuals that was designed by and for people experiencing the disease.

To unlock the unique potential of ImpactHD, Huntington’s WA is now on the lookout for new funding and technical partners to continue the development journey and add cognitive (brain) exercises and a social engagement component to the app.

Huntington’s WA Executive Director, Lenni Duffield, said the support of Impact100 WA has been instrumental in translating the clinical research into an easily accessible application.

“What we are doing with ImpactHD simply hasn’t been done before and the underpinning clinical research was also one of the first studies of its kind in the world,” Ms Duffield said.

“The feedback from the Huntington’s community and the health sector more broadly has been overwhelmingly positive, and we hope to leverage this support to secure technology and funding partners.

“Aside from securing funding, one of our greatest challenges comes from pushing boundaries. We are not sure that the technology currently exists to support where we need to take ImpactHD, particularly for the more advanced stages of degenerative neurological conditions.

“With the right support, we believe that anything is possible and so we are cautiously optimistic and remain committed to taking the app to the next level over the next three or so years that we estimate it will take to complete the development,” Ms Duffield said.

The Huntington’s Environmental Research Optimisation Scheme (HEROs) research (the basis for ImpactHD) was conducted in Western Australia by Edith Cowan University. Conclusions from this research were that a multidisciplinary program can result in beneficial changes to motor function, cognition, body composition and strength for people symptomatic with Huntington’s Disease.

The app, which was designed by and for people experiencing Huntington’s Disease, has three key objectives:

  • Improve the wellness and capacity of at risk, family and carers of neurodegenerative gene positive individuals.
  • Empower those with neurodegenerative conditions to be an active partner in their journey (with clinicians and families).
  • Improve the wellbeing of neurodegenerative gene positive individuals.

Media Enquiries – Lenni Duffield 0439 290 465