Essence and uniqueness of the project
The total estimated worldwide cost of dementia has reached $818 billion (£521 billion) and will become a trillion dollar disease finds the World Alzheimer Report 2015. Due to the increasing costs in health care, decreasing number of nurses and changes in laws and legislations, the family of a person with dementia is increasingly responsible for the care of older people who are no longer self-sufficient. It is important to denote that caring for a person with dementia by informal caregivers involves many positives such as meaningfulness, companionship and providing quality of life (World Alzheimer Report 2009). Studies showed that the management of dementia patients also places a particular burden on the caregiver and involves several economic and social costs. The burden becomes heavier as the disease progresses, since the increase of cognitive disorders and the resulting reduction of independence in daily life, together with the onset of behavioural symptoms, heighten the caregiver's distress, anxiety, depression and may cause impaired physical health. In fact, caring for a person with dementia is associated with more frequent visits of informal caregivers to health care professionals and more mental health problems. The challenge of aging societies and of a shrinking workforce of nurses has led to the trend that older persons are encouraged to stay in their own residences as long as possible with an increasing need for support from informal carers and supportive technologies. Whenever a PwD has to go to a care home, it is essential - due to a decreasing workforce of nurses - that they and the formal carers are supported with technologies that can decrease the care burden and increase the safety and quality of life of the person with dementia.
Hundreds of AAL services and technologies have developed over the course of >10 years, however, very few made it to market with difficulties in scaling up. HAAL will support the AAL market and built a learning community in 4 countries. Within HAAL, every country will put forward a number of AAL solutions that have been proven effective within existing eco-systems and/or AAL projects. A pre-requisite is that these AAL solutions are interoperable (e.g, via UniversAAL). Every eco-system will adopt at least one successful solution from another country that will fit the eco-system’s need and demand based on meaningful try-outs, resulting in a package of AAL (care technologies; social platforms, etc.) solutions per country supported by a HAAL cloud-based system and mobile application. The AAL solutions should cover the various stages of dementia care, from cognitive problems, to MCI to late stages of dementia. In addition, the AAL solutions should support integrated care within the eco-system, with both PwD as (in)formal carers. In The Netherlands, the municipality of Haarlemmermeer will further scale-up the Compaan (tablet with social services) and integrate Sensara (life style monitoring) and the Medido medicine dispenser within their eco-system to strengthen a dementia friendly municipality. The bundle of Dutch AAL solutions will be further strengthened by a complementary and context valuable AAL solution from the other eco-systems.
In Taiwan, Yuan Ze University can provide 2 of the 3 solutions from Taiwan The first one is “AIoT senior care bedroom” to support PwD in later stages. The second one is “WhizToys for combined physical activity and cognitive training”. Both solutions are already deployed in Banciao veteran dementia nursing home for field trial. In addition, National Cheng Kung University can provide physical rehabilitation & cognitive training for people with dementia by means of “Tipr for improving self-care and cognitive abilities.
Finally, in Austria, UNIPERCARE will provide a TV platform, dynamic GPS tracking and fall detection by 2PCS & FreeWalker, and well-being surveillance technologies from COGVIS (FearLess).
The HAAL services - in particular the ones that support the first phases of dementia – can support seniors to stay longer in their own residence with some degree of independence, which would decrease the workload of caregivers. The ability to adapt to individual needs over the dementia patient journey, support integrated care and provide AAL services accordingly is unique, thereby supporting user acceptance, trust, and over time; cost-effectiveness. In HAAL we will co-create, perform meaningful try-outs, develop and evaluate the added value of an AAL eco-system, since these types of existing and evidence-based.
In at least The Netherlands an extended regional ecosystem is also necessary for financing the technology during the patient journey of a person with dementia also involving three sequentially financing stakeholders interacting which each other. In the business modelling this is further explored and researched as a base for the commercialization. There is a direct link to the AAL-project RESILIEN-T (2019 – 2021, coordination INCRA), developing on the senior tablet Compaan (NL) an interactive application for the support of the self-management of people with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Compaan is leading commercial partner for RESILIEN-T and will be also involved in HAAL as leading commercial partner for the Dutch part. Several partners from RESILIEN-T are also involved in HAAL, so the experience and results of RESILIEN-T can be brought directly into HAAL. With its RESILIEN-T application for people with MCI, Compaan is the first technology in the Dutch chain of technology during the patient journey of a Person with Dementia.