As Project Coordinator, I would like to welcome you to the Carelink Newsletter. Carelink is a research project, funded under the European AAL programme, close to the market, with the goal of developing a smart, adaptive and low-cost solution for positively managing the wandering of people with dementia, enabling them to walk freely while reducing the stress on the caregivers.
This newsletter will be used to communicate the latest project news, keep you informed on current developments in Assisted Technologies and provide relevant updates on dementia research. Catch up on Carelink’s participation at conferences and events and find out where we will be showcasing our work in the future. To find out more about Carelink, watch this video
Wandering is one of the behaviours exhibited by some people with dementia. Six out of ten people with dementia will wander. When a person with dementia wanders can find themselves in dangerous situations and unfamiliar environments. The situation results in significant stress for families, caregivers and the person with dementia. The consequences can be severe and sometimes fatal. The Carelink user group feedback has indicated what works can differ greatly from person to person. While there are both some positive preventions (e.g. preferred activities) or interventions (trackers), there is no silver bullet.
Our vision is that the solution will be flexible in delivery and will be viewed by users as beneficial and enabling, while giving carers peace of mind. To find out more about our solution visit www.carelink-aal.org
Project Status Update
From the outset the team were focussed on delivering a solution that had true value to the end users and could therefore achieve business impact. In late 2017/ early 2018 preliminary user group research which engaged with 37 people from target user groups (people with dementia, carers) and 6 subject experts helped guide the user mapping and requirements definition process, ultimately resulting in refined architecture. Simultaneously, the value proposition has been refined from a business perspective. An End-to-end technical demo is scheduled for completion in September, at which point further user validation will take place both from a technical and business value perspectives More information can be found at Carelink-aal.org.
Carelink Research Spotlight
The Carelink team includes expert researchers in the areas of intelligent communications, artificial intelligence, sensor device and networks. We will use the Research Spotlight to highlight some of the key research investigations that underpin the Carelink solution.
Fog-Centric Localisation for AAL
Khriti Bhargava, Gary McManus, Stepan Ivanov
Ambient assisted living technologies deliver context aware services enabled by behaviour and preference monitoring. An important feature of AAL is the ability to detect anomalies (Carelink goes even further by predicting when an anomaly (wandering behaviour in people with dementia). In order to achieve monitoring including the localisation of service users, sensors are a necessity. The use of sensors frequently results in high costs either as a result of expensive hardware or dense sensor deployments. A key goal for Carelink is the delivery of a low cost solution. This research solution proposes a single wearable sensor and cloud gateway for sensor localization. Iterative Edge Mining (IEM) is one of the light weight data mining techniques which is being considered for activity recognition to be executed on the device. IEM runs autonomously on the sensor node sending alerts to the gateway node upon detection of an anomaly.
Read the full research paper here.
In The News
Funding care for people with dementia and their families continues to be a challenge with a shared emphasis across the EU on enabling individuals to live well and safely at home and within their communities as long as possible. There is a reliance on non-profits to supplement care provision in many countries. For example, in Ireland, the Department of Health has worked with The Atlantic Philanthropies to offer 50 Intensive Home Care Packages (IHCP) for people with dementia over 3 years (2015 – 2018). Additionally, the HSE and Genio supported 9 community-based projects in the period 2012 – 2017 including access to assistive technologies. Alzheimer’s Ireland has recently made a pre-budget submission of €11million for community supports for people with dementia. The National Dementia Office published the Dementia Needs Analysis framework to support Local Services Development. Home and community based care has many benefits both in terms of individual preferences and well-being and cost of provision. However, over reliance on informal carers can cause significant financial and personal hardship on those individuals. The extension of community service based initiatives and the availability of low cost solutions to help improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers are both welcomed an necessary.
Getting a dementia diagnosis is problematic with delays….
In Ireland, an online dementia diagnosis service is due to be rolled out imminently by Videodoc, claiming to make a 30 minute diagnosis feasible. This has the potential to reduce the process from the months and even years currently involved. Also, the new channel may be preferred by some concerned individuals and their families resulting in faster diagnosis. Initiatives such as these are to be welcomed particularly in light of a recent study published by Alzheimer’s Europe which highlights the significant barriers that exist to timely diagnosis this kind of creative thinking may help improve the situation. In that study, statistics from five countries were analysed (Czech Republic, Finland, Scotland, Italy and Netherlands) and revealed that on average it took 2.1 years to secure a diagnosis. The reasons for the delay are numerous and include first professional seen not considering that anything was wrong and refusal of person with dementia to seek help. Carers cannot access critical supports without a diagnosis, thereby exacerbating an already worrying situation. The response to a diagnosis is also important and varies significantly across countries. Education and awareness must be a critical part of any strategy to overcome these problem areas
Carelink Consortium plenary meeting – 12/13 September
The AAL Forum, 24 – 26 September Bilbao
NOVAsaúde Ageing, 1st International Conference (Scientific), 19 September Lisboa
CIBB2018: Computational Intelligence methods for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics 6 – 8 September Lisboa
IEEE-IS2018: Intelligent Systems in Madeira 25-27 September Madeira
Read about the National Dementia Strategies in each of our regions
Switzerland – https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Policy-in-Practice2/National-Dementia-Strategies/Switzerland#fragment1
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