AI-project funded within KIC call Living with Dementia

Date of news: 5 April 2022

Researchers from RadboudUMC, Radboud University and other universities will collaborate on a new project: ‘Quality of Life by use of Enabling AI in Dementia’ (or QoLEAD), aimed at improving the quality of life of people with dementia by 25% in 2030. QoLEAD will receive over 2 million euros in funding over the next few years.

The project is s led by professor Wijnand IJsselsteijn of the Eindhoven University of Technology. QoLEAD’s research line concerns research into psychosocial interventions. This is focused on personalised self-management and collaborative care management and usable technology for people with dementia and their (in)formal care providers.

Technological innovations are urgently needed to improve the quality of life of people with dementia. However, existing technological solutions often fail to sufficiently match individual needs and are not accessible enough. QoLEAD uses the power of AI to provide appropriate, humane and smart care solutions in three key areas: 1) health, safety and quality of care; 2) social participation and social contact; 3) autonomy, meaningfulness and self-respect. People who suffer from dementia and their informal carers will direct these innovations in an open network of practice locations, knowledge institutions and companies with the ultimate aim of a better quality of life.

Social AI to preserve autonomy

Within the project, AI researchers at RadboudUMC and Radboud University will be looking into AI to preserve autonomy, meaningful activities and self-esteem. The desired societal impact of this work package is to realize an increased quality of life for people with dementia in all phases of their condition, while empowering professional and informal carers.

People may live with dementia for 10 to 20 years or sometimes even longer. Providing tools for patients’ engagement in meaningful (social) activities and a sense of usefulness during this period would improve the problems associated with dementia substantially. An adjustable combination of Social AI technology (i.e., SAI framework) could help to initiate, coordinate, guide, stimulate and personalize such activities. In this framework, a virtual and/or physical conversational agent (robot) could, for example, guide individual and group activities, ask questions, tell stories with multi-media illustrations, inform the patient about (coming) appointments, and notify the carer about an emerging support need.

The project is a collaboration between TU/e, Maastricht University, Radboud University, TU Delft, TNO, University Medical Center Groningen, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, University of Twente/Tranzo, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht University, Alzheimer Nederland, Vilans, JAIN Challenge by TIGNL, Avoord, Zonnehuisgroep Amstelland, Tante Louise, SVRZ Servicecentrum, Radboudumc/Science network elderly care Nijmegen (UKON), CZ and VGZ. More information can be found on the NWO website.

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