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Dementia Wristband Report

Tetley, JW and Koivunen, E and Davenport, D and Fisher, J and Hadley, R and Sullivan, M and Sathish, A and Etchells, C and Hearns, J (2017) Dementia Wristband Report. UNSPECIFIED. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Official URL: https://www.gmahsn.org/

Abstract

This research project explored the use of new wearable and mobile technologies to support independent living and social interactions in the community for people living with dementia and their carers, more safely and for longer. The three key aims of the project were to: • Assess the potential acceptability, and usability of a mobile phone App and wearable wristband solution • Test the use of the technological in the everyday life contexts • Evaluate the usability and utility of a mobile phone App and digital wristband to reduce social isolation and improve health outcomes The research project had two stages: Stage 1 - Acceptability, utility and usability of the devices This stage of the project focused on developing initial understandings of the ways in which the proposed technological solutions work and potentially meet the needs of people living with dementia and their carers. This was achieved through: - Technology testing by the project team members. This gave the team a better understanding of the device used in the project. - Interviews with people with dementia and their carers, and with health and social care professionals. The interviews explored whether participants were receptive to, and what they thought about, the proposed solutions. Any concerns they had about the tracking technology in general or about the technology used in the project were also examined. Stage 2: Real world testing of the wristbands and smartphone App Research participant’s trialled the technology, as part of their everyday lives, for up to three months. During this period the research team worked closely with them to provide training and technological support and used a multi-method data collection focused on semi-structured interviews and observation to capture their experiences of using the technology. The participants living with dementia and their carers were given the opportunity to choose the technology that best suits them, either a wristbands or a smartphone application. Key findings In summary, through the interviews and focus groups and real world technology testing the research team and SME partners found there are issues around: - the use of technology for people living with dementia and their carers – for some people it was seen as a real benefit, others did not want to engage with the technology or have others know where they were. - education, information and support for people living with dementia and their carers to use new technologies; even when delivered via familiar technologies this can be challenging and needs support and time - support for family/other carers who are key to the support of mobile and wearable technologies. - support for people who do not have a local or remote family carer who can support the use of new technologies needs to be considered. - current GPS technologies not being accurate as a stand alone way of finding someone who may be lost or needing support. - safeguarding – which needs to take an holistic approach and include more traditional and ‘paper based’ safeguarding systems such as the Herbert protocol, - emerging and new technologies, which are developing constantly but a national approach is still missing; - the challenges for unpaid carers and people living with dementia to around exploring options around new technologies and deciding what are the best/cost effective options for their situations. - wearable and mobile technologies which can support people to be more independent in the community, but the technologies need to be: introduced early; affordable and be more easily supported by family and professional care givers as appropriate.

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