Developing an Intelligent Environment to Support People with Early-Stage Dementia: from User-Needs to a Real-Life Prototype

Anne Grave, Saskia Robben, Michel Oey, Somaya Ben Allouch, Masi Mohammadi

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Intelligent environments can offer support to people with early-stage dementia, who often experience problems with maintaining their circadian rhythm. The focus of this work is developing a prototype of an Intelligent Environment for assisting these people with their daily rhythm while living independently at home. Following the four phases of the Empathic Design Framework (Explore, Translate, Process, and Validate), the needs of people with dementia and their caregivers were incorporated into the design. In the exploration phase, a need assessment took place using focus groups (N=12), observations (N=10), and expert interviews (N=27). Then, to determine the requirements for a prototype of an intelligent environment, the second phase, Translate, used three co-creation sessions with different stakeholder groups. In these sessions, Mind Maps (N=55) and Idea Generation Cards (N=35) were used. These resulted in a set of 10 requirements on the following topics: context-awareness, pattern recognition, adaptation, support, personalization, autonomy, modularity, dementia proof interaction, costs, data, and privacy. Finally, in the third phase, the requirements were applied to a real-life prototype by a multidisciplinary design team of researchers, (E-Health) tech companies, designers, software engineers with representatives of eight organizations. The prototype serves as a basis for further development of Intelligent Environments to enable people with dementia to live longer independently at home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Human Informatics: Open Journal of the Academy of Human Informatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2022


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