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.
Social Health Domain 3: Technology to promote social participation

The FindMyApps intervention should be preferred to usual tablet use to promote social participation in community-dwelling people with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia as it better supports their quality of life if they are experiencing apathy, and better supports their informal caregivers’ sense of competence


Care providers should consider providing people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild dementia with the FindMyApps tablet-based intervention, or even a usual tablet without FindMyApps if accompanied with appropriate training, as an effective way of improving their social participation.

Explanation and Examples:

Evidence from the FindMyApps project has identified increases in social participation associated with use of the tablet-based FindMyApps intervention or a usual tablet without FindMyApps, when accompanied by appropriate training. The improvements were slightly more pronounced with the FindMyApps intervention than with a tablet without FindMyApps, particularly with respect to the diversity of social activities in which people participated (as opposed to the overall frequency of social activities). Evidence was also found for people with MCI/mild dementia experiencing apathy prior to receiving the interventions having better quality of life outcomes when they received FindMyApps. All improvements found were small.

Caregivers’ sense of competence refers to how well caregivers feel they can provide care for their family member with dementia or friend, and for how long. Evidence from the FindMyApps project has identified that the FindMyApps intervention is associated with a greater sense of competence for caregivers (moderate effect size) of community-dwelling people with MCI/mild dementia than a normal tablet and should therefore be implemented by preference to a normal tablet.

Type of evidence

David Neal (DISTINCT ESR6)

Results from a randomized controlled trial, conducted in the Netherlands from January 2020 to November 2022.


Neal D., Ettema T., Zwan M., Dijkstra K., Finnema E., Graff M., Muller M., Dröes R. M. FindMyApps compared with usual tablet use to promote social health of community-dwelling people with mild dementia and their informal caregivers: a randomised controlled trial, eClinicalMedicine. 2023. 63.