The Personal and societal impact of the dementia ambient care (Dem@Care) multi-sensor remote-monitoring dementia care system
Hopper, Louise and Karakostas, Anastasios and Konig, Alexandra and Saevenstedt, Stefan and Kompatsiaris, Ioannis (2016) The Personal and societal impact of the dementia ambient care (Dem@Care) multi-sensor remote-monitoring dementia care system. In: Alzheimer Association International Conference 2016- Technology and Dementia Pre-conference, 26-28 July, 2016, Toronto, Canada.
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Background: The relation of behavioural and cognitive monitoring parameters to dementia-specific patterns can provide a promising and objective approach to dementia assessment given the long-term nature of the measurements. Furthermore, technologies that monitor daily living can enable a person with dementia to remain independent for longer by supporting their health, well-being and safety, while reducing the burden on family/friends and decreasing healthcare costs.
Methods: The EU FP7-funded research project “Dementia Ambient Care” (Dem@Care), developed an integrated solution for the remote monitoring, diagnosis and support of people with mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia. It investigated the use of multiple wearable (accelerometers, 2D/3D cameras, microphones) and ambient sensors (visual and infrared cameras, sleep sensors) for the recording of daily activities, lifestyle patterns, emotions, and speech, as well as the use of intelligent mechanisms for the assessment of an individual’s condition at diagnosis, and over time in multiple care settings. Feedback was provided to clinicians, and directly to people with dementia and their caregivers.
Results: Dem@Care had a positive impact for people with dementia regarding increased independence. They reported a sense of improvement in their subjective quality of life and in the five key domains addressed by the solution; sleep, physical activity, social interaction, activities of daily living and mood. Improvements for the person with dementia translated into improvements for their informal caregivers and in some cases increased independence (related to dementia severity). Clinicians and formal care staff benefited from improved assessment and diagnostic procedures, enhanced ability to make differential diagnoses, and more timely identification of functional, behavioural, and emotional pattern changes.
Conclusions: Although difficult to evaluate the longer-term economic and societal outcomes, we suggest that successful attainment of stakeholder’s personal outcomes will, over time, lead to a reduction in healthcare costs and less social isolation for those living with dementia. Dem@Care is shown to have contributed to the advancement of the technical, clinical, and ethical management of dementia care through the innovative use of ICT solutions.
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