Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia


Implementation of technology in dementia care: facilitators & barriers

Successful implementation of technology in dementia care depends not merely on its effectiveness but also on other facilitating or impeding factors related to e.g. the personal living environment (privacy, autonomy and obtrusiveness); the outside world (stigma and human contact); design (personalisability, affordability and safety), and ethics on these subjects.  This section provides recommendations on the implementation of technology in everyday life, for meaningful activities, healthcare technology and technology promoting Social Health.
Social Health Domain 3: Technology to promote social participation

Users of tablet based interventions and care-providers should make evidence-based decisions about implementation strategy, taking into account important context, implementation and mechanisms of impact factors


There are many considerations when planning to implement technological interventions. The issues can be grouped into context, implementation and mechanism of impact factors. Evidence from the FindMyApps project has identified, within these categories, specific factors that are important for successful implementation of a tablet-based intervention, such as FindMyApps. Potential tablet-users and care providers are advised to base their decisions on this evidence.


The FindMyApps project compared the FindMyApps intervention to usual tablet use by community-dwelling people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild dementia. The following factors were identified as influencing the success of implementation of both the FindMyApps intervention and a standard tablet:

  • Context:
    • People with MCI/mild dementia who previously used a tablet are more likely to use the intervention. Intensive one-on-one support is recommended to those who have never used a tablet.
    • People with MCI and younger people with MCI/mild dementia may use the intervention more. Extra support is recommended for older people with dementia.
    • People experiencing apathy may benefit more from dementia-specific tablet programmes, such as FindMyApps, which provide easy access to selected apps, than from a standard tablet.
  • Implementation:
    • People with slower Wi-Fi connections may find the tablet harder to use.
    • It is often feasible to provide support by telephone and/or video-call but face-to-face contact is more suitable for those who have never used a tablet before.
    • Few people use passive support, such as a telephone helpdesk. It is therefore recommended to pro-actively offer support to those who may need it (see above).
  • Mechanisms of impact:
    • Tablet-use may support social contact and engagement in meaningful activities, more than instrumental activities of daily living. It is recommended to set personal goals accordingly.
    • Limitations of specific tablet-apps (e.g. pop-up advertising, requirements for user-accounts with passwords) should be considered.
    • The quality of tablet-use, seems more important for social health than the quantity (frequency of duration) of tablet use. Set personal goals and evaluate accordingly.

Type of evidence

David Neal (ESR6)

Mixed methods process evaluation (following UK MRC guidance) alongside a randomized controlled trial. Data collected in the Netherlands, January 2020 to November 2022, from automatically recorded observations of app usage, self- and proxy-report questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews.


Neal D., Kuiper L., Pistone D., Osinga C., Nijland S., Ettema T., Dijkstra K., Muller M., Dröes R. M. FindMyApps eHealth intervention improves quality, not quantity, of home tablet use by people with dementia. 2023. 10.

Useful links

Find My Apps website: