Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia


Practical, cognitive & social factors to improve usability of technology for people with dementia

Technologies are increasingly vital in today’s activities in homes and communities. Nevertheless, little attention has been given to the consequences of the increasing complexity and reliance on them, for example, at home, in shops, traffic situations, meaningful activities and health care services. The users’ ability to manage products and services has been largely neglected or taken for granted. People with dementia often do not use the available technology because it does not match their needs and capacities. This section provides recommendations to improve the usability of technology used in daily life, for meaningful activities, in healthcare and in the context of promoting the Social Health of people with dementia.
Social Health Domain 1: Fulfill ones potential and obligations

Use of the E-nabling Digital Co-production Framework is recommended to improve digital Patient and Public Involvement in dementia research


To better understand how digital Patient and Public Involvement (e-PPI) and blended approaches (hybrid digital and face-to-face PPI) in dementia research can be better facilitated, it is recommended to use the E-nabling Digital Co-production framework.

Explanation and Examples

Qualitative research showed that the E-nabling Digital Co-production framework (see Figure 1) is useful for researchers, PPI coordinators and public contributors in advancing understanding of the challenges and opportunities provided by e-PPI and blended (hybrid) approaches. The framework explores preferences and implications of using different modalities of PPI and it can be useful for specific populations and contexts, for example in dementia technology research.

In this context, e-PPI needs to optimise engagement by taking into account participants’ abilities to remember instructions on how to join the e-meeting, their levels of attention and concentration, or the need for explicit cues to the speaker. The level of support must be determined which requires specialised training for facilitators or additional supporters during the meeting.

Facilitators should be aware that online meetings may deprive caregivers of respite and support that would be present face-to-face, and may exclude those who live alone or need more support.

Some of the opportunities of e-PPI are related to removing geographical constraints allowing wider participation and saving resources in terms of time, not having to travel to meetings, arrange venues, catering or other coordination such as transporting PPI representatives.

Type of evidence

Mauricio Molinari Ulate (DISTINCT ESR7)

Qualitative study, online focus groups, digital PPI


Molinari-Ulate, M., Woodcock, R., Smith, I. et al. Insights on conducting digital patient and public involvement in dementia research during the COVID-19 pandemic: supporting the development of an “E-nabling digital co-production” framework. Res Involv Engagem 8, 33 (2022).