Usability and Usefulness of GPS Based Localization Technology Used in Dementia Care

  • Øystein Dale
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6179)


Dementia is a chronic brain disease affecting cognitive functioning. People with dementia have a higher risk of getting lost. In recent years GPS based technology has been utilised to locate lost persons with dementia. We interviewed six families using such technology focusing on perceived usability, user-friendliness and usefulness. The informants also completed the QUEST 2.0 questionnaire which measures satisfaction with assistive technology. By and large the informants found the equipment easy to use, and it was viewed by all as being very useful. There were a number of usability issues which adversely affected usage, e.g. system stability, secure fastening, size, user interface issues and varying GPS-reception. The QUEST 2.0 results corresponded with the findings in the interviews. Further usability studies, as well as R&D to address issues such as security and privacy protection and use in the public health sector are needed.


Dementia localization assistive technology GPS usability 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Brækhus, A., et al.: Hva er demens?, 4th edn. UUS (2009)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alzheimer’s Disease International. World Alzheimer Report - Executive Summary (2009)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    McShane, R., et al.: The feasibility of electronic tracking devices in dementia: a telephone survey and case series. Int. J. Geriatr. Psyc. 13(8), 556–563 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Landau, R., et al.: Attitudes of Family and Professional Care-Givers towards the Use of GPS for Tracking Patients with Dementia: An Exploratory Study. British Journal of Social Work 39(4), 670–692 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kibayashi, K., Shojo, H.: Accidental fatal hypothermia in elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease. Med. Sci. Law. 43(2), 127–131 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hermans, D.G., Htay, U.H., McShane, R.: Non-pharmacological interventions for wandering of people with dementia in the domestic setting. Coch Database Syst. Rev. (1) (January 24, 2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Robinson, L., et al.: Balancing rights and risks: Conflicting perspectives in the management of wandering in dementia. Health, Risk & Society 9(4), 389–406 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Robinson, L., et al.: Effectiveness and acceptability of non-pharmacological interventions to reduce wandering in dementia: a systematic review. Int. J. Geriatr. Psyc. 22(1), 9–22 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Faucounau, V., et al.: Electronic tracking system and wandering in Alzheimer’s disease: a case study. Ann. Phys. Rehabil. Med. 52(7-8), 579–587 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Miskelly, F.: Electronic tracking of patients with dementia and wandering using mobile phone technology. Age and Ageing 34, 497–499 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bjørneby, S.: Å føle seg trygg med demens. Nasjonalforeningen for folkehelsen (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lauriks, S., et al.: Review of ICT-based services for identified unmet needs in people with dementia. Ageing Research Review 6(3), 223–246 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Demers, L., Weiss-Lambrou, R., Ska, B.: The Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology (QUEST 2.0): An overview and recent progress. Technology and Disability 14(3), 101–105 (2002)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Øystein Dale
    • 1
  1. 1.Norsk RegnesentralBlindern, OsloNorway

Personalised recommendations