Ageing International

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 267–282 | Cite as

Video Reminders as Cognitive Prosthetics for People with Dementia

  • Sonja A. O’NeillEmail author
  • Sarah Mason
  • Guido Parente
  • Mark P. Donnelly
  • Christopher D. Nugent
  • Sally McClean
  • Bryan Scotney
  • David Craig


This research aims to evaluate a mobile phone-based video reminder system (MPVS) for people with dementia, with respect to its design and utility, in addition to its ability to satisfy user needs. Carers for those using the system use a bespoke desktop-based system to record and schedule reminders for delivery through the MPVS system. Nine participants were set eight activities of daily living (ADL) tasks and asked to repeat these tasks over a number of days within an ABA-evaluation protocol. In the A phase, ADLs were undertaken using standard reminding techniques; in the B phase, the MPVS system was used; following this, a second A phase was evaluated. ADL completion / compliance was rated and recorded by the carer. Carers and participants were interviewed prior to and following the evaluation to gauge their perceived needs and how these are met, in addition to the potential utility of the technology. The generalizability of the outcome of this evaluation is limited due to the low number of participants; however, the participants reported that the MPVS system assisted them to organize their routine, and the phone used to deliver the video messages was of a good size with adequate screen and audio clarity. The carers saw the potential utility of the technology, and although some had to learn how to use the desktop recording system, the wizard-led interface made it much easier to use for people with minimal computer experience.


Cognitive prosthetics Dementia Connected health Mobile phone 



This work was funded in part by Everyday Technologies for Alzheimer’s Care (ETAC), provided by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Northern Ireland R&D office, in addition to MATCH Plus through EPSRC funding as managed by Brunel University.

All human studies have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. The relevant ethical approval was granted by ORECNI under the number 06/NIR02/89.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonja A. O’Neill
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah Mason
    • 2
  • Guido Parente
    • 1
  • Mark P. Donnelly
    • 1
  • Christopher D. Nugent
    • 1
  • Sally McClean
    • 1
  • Bryan Scotney
    • 1
  • David Craig
    • 2
  1. 1.Computer Science Research InstituteUniversity of UlsterNewtownabbeyNorthern Ireland
  2. 2.Department of Elderly CareQueen’s University Belfast and Belfast City HospitalBelfastNorthern Ireland

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