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

Consider cost-effectiveness research into eHealth interventions


Methodological sound effectiveness research into eHealth interventions for community dwelling persons with dementia is growing. To determine the added value of such interventions, it is important to look at their effects and costs. This gives a balanced picture and helps policy makers to make the right decisions when deploying eHealth interventions.

Explanation and example

Positive effects were found of exergaming compared to usual activities in day care centres. The provision of exergaming brought additional costs related to the equipment (purchase and maintenance) and staff involvement. Compared to non-technology based interventions, especially equipment costs can be a cost driver.

In the exergaming study, the participating organisations received a list of potential funders for the equipment to be used, and various funding organisations (charitable organizations) were willing to pay for it. In some cases this helped to participate in the study.

Taking into account the intervention costs may help day care centres to balance the positive effects of using the eHealth interventions (for people with dementia and their carers) against the long-term costs (to be covered by own funding or external funding). This will promote a well-informed implementation and securing of the eHealth intervention.

Type of evidence

Joeke van Santen (INDUCT ESR7)

Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT)


Van Santen, J., Dröes, R.M., Bosmans, J.E. Blanson Henkemans, O.A. Van Bommel, S., Hakvoort, E., Valk, R., Scholten, C., Wiersinga, J., Van Straten, A., Meiland, F. (2019). The (cost-) effectiveness of exergaming in people living with dementia and their informal caregivers: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Geriatrics 19:50, 2019.

Van Santen, J., Meiland, F.J.M., Dröes, R.M., Straten, A, Bosmans, J.E. (2021). Cost-effectiveness of exergaming compared to regular Day care activities in dementia: Results of a randomised controlled trial in the Netherlands. Health and Social Care in the Community, 2021.