The Use of Smartwatches for Health Monitoring in Home-Based Dementia Care
- Cite this paper as:
- Boletsis C., McCallum S., Landmark B.F. (2015) The Use of Smartwatches for Health Monitoring in Home-Based Dementia Care. In: Zhou J., Salvendy G. (eds) Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population. Design for Everyday Life. ITAP 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9194. Springer, Cham
A large number of dementia patients receive home-based care, in order to maintain their independence and improve quality of life and health status. The current formal home-based care model presents certain limitations related to the monitoring of the patients and the reporting of the progression of physical and cognitive decline. In recent years, novel care models and assistive technologies have been proposed in order to improve the quality of care and assistance services. In this paper, we test the assumption that the use of smartwatches for monitoring physical health aspects of dementia patients can benefit formal home-based care, by providing formal caregivers with additional, important information about significant, health-related events that may have happened during the non-visit home care hours. We perform a qualitative feasibility study - consisted of a small-scale usability study with one dementia patient, and an expert (physician) review - in order to test and evaluate the efficacy of a smartwatch intervention in home-based dementia care, as well as to examine its potential for a subsequent, larger-scale study. The smartwatch documented participant’s health-related issues regarding night sleep disturbances, potentially frequent toilet visits, daytime snoozing, low sleep quality and early waking up times. Those issues were verified by the project’s physician and, subsequently, measures can be taken to ensure the patient’s good health, safety, and quality of life.