Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia


Evaluating the effectiveness of specific contemporary technology

The rapid growth of the technological landscape and related new services have the potential to improve the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health and social services and facilitate social participation and engagement in activities. But which technology is effective and how is this evaluated best? This section provides recommendations to evaluate the effectiveness of technology in daily life, meaningful activities and healthcare services as well as of technologies aimed to promote the Social Health of people with dementia. Examples of useful technologies in some of these areas are provided.
Technology for meaningful activities

In order to help people with dementia and their carers find dementia-friendly apps for self-management and meaningful activities a selection tool is desirable

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People with dementia can have difficulty finding apps for self-management, meaningful activities and social participation that match their needs, interests and abilities. A tool that helps them find such apps is therefore recommended.

Explanation and example

People with dementia often experience unmet needs in their self-management, meaningful activities and social participation. Apps and technological interventions can potentially help them fulfil these needs and also decrease the burden for caregivers.

The last decade many apps have been developed that can support people with dementia in managing daily life, engaging in activities and staying in touch with their social network. However, people with dementia may have difficulty finding apps that match their needs, interests and abilities, FindMyApps is a selection tool that aims to help people find, download and use apps for self-management and meaningful activities, which are dementia-friendly and meet their needs, interests and capabilities.

A randomized controlled exploratory trial into the effectiveness of FindMyApps showed that people with dementia who were offered this tool more frequently downloaded and used apps for self-management and meaningful activities than people who did not have access to this tool. This confirmed the usefulness of the tool. Therefore, a tool such as FindMyApps is recommended for people with dementia and their caregivers to ease the search for suitable apps.

Type of evidence

Kim Beentjes (INDUCT ESR 8)

Pilot feasibility study (Kerkhof et al., 2020)

Exploratory pilot trial (ESR8, Beentjes et al., submitted)


Beentjes, K.M., Neal, D.P., Kerkhof, Y.J.F., Broeder, C., Moeridjan, Z.D.J., Ettema, T.P., Pelkmans, W., Muller, M.M., Graff, M.J.L., Dröes, R.M.(2020). Impact of the FindMyApps program on people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia and their caregivers; an exploratory pilot randomised controlled trial. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol., Nov 27:1-13.

Kerkhof, Y. J. F., Kohl, G., Veijer, M., Mangiaracina, F., Bergsma, A., Graff, M., & Dröes, R.-M. (2020). Randomised controlled feasibility study of FindMyApps: First evaluation of a tablet-based intervention to promote self-management and meaningful activities in people with mild dementia. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Jun 19; 1-15. doi:10.1080/17483107.2020.1765420