Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia

themes: Internet-of-Things security

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 2: Manage ones own life and promote independence

Recommended design and implementation framework for social assistive robotics for people with dementia


While designing social assistive robots the following recommended features should be considered to promote successful implementation: low-cost affordable design (pet robot is preferred to humanoid), language mutation for target user and integration with Smart Home IoT (including IoT security mechanisms). During the development phase co-creation should be promoted.

Explanation and Examples:

These recommendations are based on the main findings of a scoping review. The scoping review investigated the state-of-the-art in social assistive robotics, i.e. the current technological advances towards a single framework for effective, safe and secure implementation of social robots for people with dementia. The scoping review qualitatively examined the literature on the use of companion robots, including both pet-like and humanoid robots, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) security, coupled with the new 5G technology for home-based elder care. A comprehensive search strategy was developed and selected databases were looked through with relevant keywords. From the 355 full-text articles found, 90 articles were selected to be examined. In order to ascertain the operation of social assistive robots in the future, remaining challenges, unused opportunities, security risks and suggested remedies are discussed, and a dementia-centred concept and implementation framework proposed.

The following set of recommendations were formulated based on the main findings:

  • Consider using a pet robot instead of a humanoid assistive robot as the high cost of the latter for a similar impact and user acceptance cannot be justified.
  • Consider low-cost, affordable design and various language mutations for wider deployment in practice, thus allowing more comparative studies, which could provide convincing arguments for using the robot.
  • Integrate robot with Smart Home IoT to enhance its functionality towards managing ones own life and promote independence.
  • Consider data security, and especially IoT security, prevention mechanisms while integrating the social robot with IoT smart home sensorics.
  • Promote wider user involvement and higher level of participation (co-creation) in the development phase of the robot.
  • Introduce clearly, and particularly identify, the concerns and needs of people with dementia in the design process.
  • List the potential risks and misuses of IoT vulnerabilities, including their remedies, in the design process.
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