Agents and Dementia — Smart Risk Assessment

  • Steve Williams
  • Berndt MüllerEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10207)


This paper describes applied research in the development of mobile, wearable and other smart technology to assist people with mild to moderate symptoms of dementia. With safety and security paramount, the primary objective is to prolong independence of the person with symptoms and provide an element of relief to families from what can become a full-time burden of care. Intelligent agents recognise activity in its context, assess risk and subsequently act to recover persons who wander or become lost. Results indicate that constant activity monitoring without ethically controversial tracking is possible without the necessity of invading privacy.



This work is supported by Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS-2), a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) and is partly sponsored by SymlConnect Limited.


  1. 1.
    McShane, R., et al.: Getting lost in dementia: a longitudinal study of a behavioral symptom. Int. Psychogeriatr. 10(3), 253–260 (1998)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rowe, M.A.: A look at deaths occurring in persons with dementia lost in the community. Am. J. Alzheimer’s Dis. Other Dement. 18(6), 343–348 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Alzheimer’s Society: Alzheimer’s Society Position Statement - Assistive technology (2013). Accessed 6 Sep 2016
  4. 4.
    Egan, K.J., Pot, A.M.: Encouraging innovation for assistive health technologies in dementia: barriers, enablers and next steps to be taken. J. Am. Med. Dir. Assoc. 17(4), 357–363 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brodaty, H., Donkin, M.: Family caregivers of people with dementia. Dialogues Clin. Neurosci. 11, 217–228 (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Riikonen, M., Mäkelä, K., Perälä, S.: Safety and monitoring technologies for the homes of people with dementia. Gerontechnology 9(1), 32–45 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zwijsen, S., Niemeijer, A., Hertogh, C.M.: Ethics of using assistive technology in the care for community-dwelling elderly people: an overview of the literature. Aging Mental Health 15(4), 419–427 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Landau, R., et al.: What do cognitively intact older people think about the use of electronic tracking devices for people with dementia? a preliminary analysis. Int. Psychogeriatr. 22(08), 1301–1309 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    McShane, R.: Should patients with dementia who wander be electronically tagged? Yes. BMJ 346, 3603 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Welsh, S., et al.: Big brother is watching you - the ethical implications of electronic surveillance measures in the elderly with dementia and in adults with learning difficulties. Aging Ment. Health 7(5), 372–375 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Godwin, B.: The ethical evaluation of assistive technology for practitioners: a checklist arising from a participatory study with people with dementia, family and professionals. J. Assist. Technol. 6(2), 123–135 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Leroi, I., et al.: Does telecare prolong community living in dementia? a study protocol for a pragmatic, randomised controlled trial. Trials 14(1), 349 (2013). Accessed 6 Sep 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Knapp, M., et al.: The case for investment in technology to manage the global costs of dementia (2016). Accessed 6 Sep 2016
  14. 14.
    Newton, L., Dickinson, C., Gibson, G., Brittain, K., Robinson, L.: Exploring the views of GPs, people with dementia and their carers on assistive technology: a qualitative study. BMJ Open 6(5), e011132 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bharucha, A.J., Anand, V., Forlizzi, J., Dew, M.A., Reynolds, C.F., Stevens, S., Wactlar, H.: Intelligent assistive technology applications to dementia care: current capabilities, limitations, and future challenges. Am. J. Geriatr. Psychiatry 17(2), 88–104 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gaßner, K., Conrad, M.: ICT enabled independent living for elderly: a status-quo analysis on products and the research landscape in the field of ambient assisted living (AAL) in EU-27. Technical report. Institute for Innovation and Technology, Berlin (2010). ISBN 978-3-89750-160-7Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Weiser, M.: The computer for the 21st century. Sci. Am. 265(3), 66–75 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yoon, S., Sim, J.K., Cho, Y.H.: A flexible and wearable human stress monitoring patch. Sci. Rep. 6, 23468 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sakr, G.E., Elhajj, I.H., Huijer, H.A.S., Riley-Doucet, C., Debnath, D.: Subject independent agitation detection. In: IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics. IEEE (2008)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    M.S., M., J.L., C., Fiorello, T., Gornbein, J.: The spectrum of behavioral changes in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology 46(1), 130–135 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gibbons, L.E., Teri, L., Logsdon, R., McCurry, S.M., Kukull, W., Bowen, J., McCormick, W., Larson, E.: Anxiety symptoms as predictors of nursing home placement in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. J. Clin. Geropsychol. 8(4), 335–342 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    McCurry, S., Gibbons, L., Logsdon, R., Teri, L.: Anxiety and nighttime behavioral disturbances. Awakenings in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. J. Gerentological Nursing 30(1), 12–20 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hope, T., Tilling, K.M., Gedling, K., Keene, J.M., Cooper, S.D., Fairburn, C.G.: The structure of wandering in dementia. Int. J. Geriatr. Psychiatry 9(2), 149–155 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cipriani, G., Lucetti, C., Nuti, A., Danti, S.: Wandering and dementia. Psychogeriatrics 14(2), 135–142 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Valk, R.: Object petri nets. In: Desel, J., Reisig, W., Rozenberg, G. (eds.) ACPN 2003. LNCS, vol. 3098, pp. 819–848. Springer, Heidelberg (2004). doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-27755-2_23 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Computing, Engineering and ScienceUniversity of South WalesPontypriddUK

Personalised recommendations