Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia


The recommendations that were included in the first version of the Best Practice Guidance for Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia were based on the findings of research done by 15 Early Stage Researchers in the INDUCT Innovative Training Network (2016-2020) funded by the European Marie Sklodowska Curie Programme. The Best Practice Guidance 2021, 2022 and 2023 updates include also the recommendations from the Marie Sklodowska Curie funded DISTINCT Innovative Training Network (2019-2023) in which again 15 Early Stage Researchers conducted research into technology for people with dementia, with a main focus on promotion of the Social health of people living with dementia and their informal carers.

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Evidence base

Each of the early stage researchers systematically investigated part of the literature to get a comprehensive insight in the state of the art of science regarding the usability of technology for people with dementia in daily life and in meaningful activities as well as in the application of technology in the organisation of dementia care (INDUCT), and regarding Social health, technology to support people with dementia to 1) fulfil their potential on a societal level, 2) manage their own life and 3) participate in social and meaningful activities (DISTINCT). All researchers did also scientific field work, systematically collecting new data in the mentioned areas, with a special focus on the usability of technology, the evaluation of its impact on people with dementia and their carers and/or tracing facilitators and barriers for the implementation of technologies in daily practice. Moreover, during their field work they involved different types of stakeholders, such as people with dementia and carers, professional health care workers, developers of technology, policy makers and researchers to get feedback on their work and findings and to get informed on the different stakeholders’ perspectives. All together this resulted in a comprehensive knowledge base and in total 113 recommendations in this June 2023 update (56 from INDUCT and 57 from DISTINCT) to improve the development, usage and implementation of technology for people with dementia and their application in dementia care. More specifically 39 recommendations on Practical, cognitive & social factors to improve the usability of technology for people with dementia, 25 recommendations on Evaluating the effectiveness of specific contemporary technology, and 49 recommendations on Facilitators and barriers in the implementation of technology in dementia care. Although this set of recommendations is not exhaustive it provides different stakeholders with useful state of the art information to promote the use of technology in dementia.

Dynamic document

This Best Practice Guidance should be seen as a dynamic document that can, and will have to be, updated when new insights are available in the continuously developing technological landscape. The recommendations should therefore always be interpreted with caution. The Best Practice Guidance paved the way for the new Marie Sklodowska Curie funded ITN project DISTINCT (2019-2023) in which 15 new Early Stage Researchers are investigating the usability, impacts and implementation of technology in three domains of Social health in dementia: supporting/promoting their ability to fullfil their potential in the society, supporting/promoting self management in daily life and supporting/ promoting social participation and meaningful activities. The recommendations of DISTINCT will be continued to be included in the updates of the Best Practice Guidance in the coming year.

Further development and implementation

Research into the usability, impact and implementation of technology is still in its infancy. With this Best Practice Guidance we hope to inspire and stimulate many researchers, policy makers and investors in the development of technology for people with dementia and innovation of dementia care to effectively contribute to the further development and implementation of user-friendly, useful and easy implementable technology for people with dementia and carers and dementia care in general.