The What Matters Apps

About the What Matters Project


The study’s primary aim is to demonstrate improved outcomes for people with dementia in hospitals and long-term care homes by developing a field-tested person-centred, digital intervention – a mobile app called “WhatMatters.”

The first phase of this project will engage stakeholders (patients/residents, families, staff) in co-design processes to explore the needs, preferences, and requirements of users, which will inform the development of a prototype of WhatMatters.

The second phase of this project will involve implementation research using mixed methods and evaluation of outcomes of WhatMatters. This digital solution will allow family members to upload personalized content including photos, videos, music, and audio recordings that staff will be able to use to engage with patients and residents as part of providing person-centred care (PCC). WhatMatters not only honours personhood and what matters to patients/residents, but also supports continuity of care for individuals with dementia who need to move between care locations, as the digital app will be designed to use in multiple care locations. 

The first phase of this project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).


What Matters App


The app is created to be user-friendly with simplified screens. The dashboard and its accompanying screens are what the app looks like for both staff and family partners.

Creating a profile for each patient includes basic information and what can calm the patient, what brings joy to them and what interests them.

The media gallery contains videos of interest for the patient that help them to feel joy and help staff calm the patient.



Our Team


Our What Matters team works together with patient partners as co-researchers, gaining their valuable input throughout the whole study.

Team members: 

Lillian Hung, Jenifer Boger, Leanne Currie, Caylee Raber, Angelica Lim, Alison Phinney, Habib Chaudhury, Candy Tran, Ellen Guo, Mariko Sakamoto, Jim Mann, Annette Berndt, Garima Sood, Eva Egeberg, Chelsea Burke. See our ‘About Us’ page to learn more about our lab members.

We are working with the following groups: The University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, University of Waterloo, Vancouver Coastal Health.