The AAL project eWare ‘Early Warning (by lifestyle monitoring) Accompanies Robotics Excellence’ is focused on improving the lifestyle of people with dementia and their caregivers. Together with Sensara, Tinybots and ZZG Zorggroep we participate in this project. Several technologies and services have been developed to support the care for people with dementia and in eWare we integrate lifestyle monitoring with social robotics.
Lifestyle monitoring helps carers to have insight in the daily pattern of a person with dementia (PwD) and thereby communication between both can be enhanced. Nevertheless, lifestyle monitoring is undirectional without the PwD in the communication loop. That’s why we add social robotics to lifestyle monitoring in the European eWare project. Lifestyle monitoring sensors add context awareness to the social robot and the social robot provides an interface between the PwD and the (in)formal carer. This way the social robot can provide context relevant suggestions to the PwD.
The main project goals of eWare are focused on outcomes:
- reduce subjective stress of the informal carers and the patient community;
- enhance quality of life of the informal carer and person with dementia;
- support communication and information between formal and informal careers.
Sensara and Tinybots
The eWare eco-system is characterized by the integration of 2 technologies: the lifestyle monitoring of Sensara (motion sensors and open/close sensors) and the social robotic technology of Tinybots. To realize the eWare eco-system and integrate these technologies, 3 developments need to take place:
- eWare Cloud that hosts core data;
- eWare mobile application for the caregivers;
- eWare API enables the Sensara technology and Tinybot technology to interface with the newly developed eWare eco-system.
Expected impact for people with dementia
The informal carer can be reassured by the lifestyle monitoring in the house and the communication in such a way that he can give the PwD more space to life. The communication possibilities will trigger the PwD to become active and enable him to stay in contact with others. Lifestyle monitoring provides insight into the short- and long-term life patterns of a PwD, whereby it can result in better knowledge of the person’s specific needs and how the formal and informal care can be adjusted accordingly.
Expected impact for caregivers
The current in use lifestyle monitoring technology can build resilience among informal carers. This is shown in practice in several projects across the Netherlands and Italy with people with dementia and their informal carers. EWare will reduce stress and care burden even more.
The improvement of quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the care can be met by early warning for crisis situations provided by the lifestyle monitoring. For example: excessive toilet use indicates a possible bladder infection and prolonged inactivity in the kitchen may indicate decreased food intake.
Expected impact on the market
EWare will contribute to a large(r) use of ICT and technology for people with dementia and their supporting community. Lifestyle monitoring is in use at the target group but in limited numbers. The planned developments in combination with large-scale trials in 4 countries brings it a leap further.
We further foresee more European collaboration, including end-users, industry and other stakeholders in the value chain. This helps to create a sustainable business model that can be applied across Europe. We further expect savings for the social/care system as people with dementia live in their homes for longer. Available results show a positive trend that the current in use lifestyle monitoring technology can postpone the nursing home admission, but can also detect possible health problems at an early stage. The planned developments have the goal to strengthen this effect.