Dr. Špela Glišović Krivec is employed as senior consultant at Spominčica since 2020, and especially taking care of the involvement of people with dementia and their carers, the ethical perspectives, co-creation activities with different stakeholders, and the implementation of best practices from worldwide experiences. She was working in medical research area for several years (field of neurodegenerative diseases and regeneration, biochemistry, microsurgery, microscopy, cell culture). Afterwards she was a sales engineer for the biomedical field, that included also sales of program solutions, and then a consultant and assessor in the medical device field at national authority (clinical research assessment, standards, borderline classification and other topics in MD field). She was a member of expert groups at European Commission.
Elderlies, people with dementia and professionals report on the acceptance, usability and personal perception on new assistive technologies
Špela Glišović Krivec, Alzheimer Slovenija Slovensko združenje za pomoč pri demenci, Slovenia
David Krivec, Spominčica, Alzheimer Slovenija Slovensko združenje za pomoč pri demenci, Slovenia
The number of people with dementia globally is estimated to 50 million and is projected to nearly triple by 2050. However, the opportunities for addressing the dementia faced challenges are on the rise with new tools, early diagnostics, and assistive technologies for daily living. Soon it may be possible to empower elderlies on their daily management, also with non-pharmacological interventions to contribute to prevention of cognitive decline and reduce the disease progression. Moreover, care access and delivery may be facilitated, time needed to get the diagnosis minimized, and the effective prognosis of individual`s disease progression may be maximized.
Herein we report on the investigation on acceptance and usability on the assistive technologies like smart bracelets, digital calendar, sleep analyzers, location/activity tracking, toilette usage, emotional status detection and smart solutions for door status, using e-mail phones, alerts and other that was conducted within the pre-piloting phase of the TeNDER project among Slovenian people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia, their carers and professionals from different professionals` fields. We also evaluated the possible differences between rural and urban living environment and the care needs and support received from patients` and carers` perspective.
Professionals were also asked for their perceived value of several solutions for the patients` monitoring and carer empowerment. The awareness about the technology together with the requirement to be easy to use were main factors identified. However, we also identified the barrier of trust in regard to accuracy and privacy, and the barrier of affordability. Patients seemed to rely on their carers a lot and the assistance from the carer is assumed if using new technologies. Health and care needs are also very heterogeneous and change over the evolvement of dementia condition is foreseen as a barrier to see the added value with the introduction of the technology in the care process. Therefore, it is necessary to implement the solutions, that are modular, affordable and may not necessarily need a lot of the interaction from patients.
Moreover, it is essential to minimize possible risk of the overload with data and reports to the professionals and that they are empowered to use the technology to benefit for the personalized approach to a patient, but do not lose the contact and personal touch. It is therefore essential to raise the awareness and empower different participants to allow the development of the technology driven personalized intervention approaches.