| Posted on 30/05/2014 - 22:31|
Develop an application that provides help to patients and caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of the application is twofold since it aims detect the progression of the illness and at the same time provide the patient with cognitive stimulus.
The Alzheimer disease is a type of dementia causing a global, progressive and irreversible deterioration of the several cognitive functions (memory, attention, language, and reasoning, etc.). This deterioration has some consequences such as changes in behaviour, character, and functional capability of the patient, making it difficult to complete its daily routine (Alzheimer Association, 2012). Currently Alzheimer already affects 7.3 million people only in Europe, by this century’s midpoint, global demographic changes will double or even triple the number of people over age 65, also increasing the numbers of the disease. Causing therefore a major social and medical problem, since the illness does not only affect the patients but also changes the life of everyone around.
A participatory design is being conducted with the participation of the end-users (specialised technicians, patients, caregivers, etc.) to better design the application for daily usage in the patients’ routine. The application constructs an auto-biographic memory of each patient and provide the support to detect the illness’s progression. This memory is achieved by the collection of multimedia resources. The patients are posed a set of questions in regular periods, to infer the loss of some specific memory. After each interaction, patients watch a small story/history excerpt of his life in order to make him remember. With this automatic detection the specialised professionals can assign cognitive stimulation exercises to help the patients (games personalised with patient’s information.
Target group and social impact
The target group of this project is Alzheimer’s patients and their families. The impact of the project is directly on patients and indirectly on their families and caregivers since the impact on their lives is brutal in the presence of the illness. By 2050 the estimated number of people affected by the illness is more than 30 million, which is a scaring fact considering the impact on the families well-being and financial impact.
Competences of the applicant
IT is a well-known research centre with previous experience either in national and international projects, and the team involved is multi-disciplinary and counts with the close collaboration with the Portuguese Association of Alzheimer’s patients and families.
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