NTT Dementia

Collaboration with NTT on an innovative dementia care concept

As the population around the world ages and the number of cases of dementia increase, more interventions to help support people with dementia and their carers are going to be needed. Technology has a key role to play, but there are challenges for designing technological solutions in the context of dementia.

Western Sydney University engaged in a collaborative research partnership with multi-national technology company NTT Pty Ltd as well as Deakin University, with a vision to bring our complementary capabilities to create new technologies that could improve quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers.

In the first phase of the project, funded via a research contract with NTT 2020-2021, researchers from MARCS engaged with stakeholders in dementia care, including familial carers, professional carers in aged care, and other allied health professionals. We discovered that familial carers in particular report a strong skepticism about the value of technology in dementia care, and that any technological solutions would need to have custom-designed user interfaces in order to be useful for people living with dementia. We also discovered that what carers and people with dementia value most are tools for connecting the person with dementia to their sense of self, their past experiences, and their loved ones. Based on this research with stakeholders, we workshopped novel technological concepts. The next phase of this project involves further concept development, user interface specification, and prototype testing, to create new technologies that meet the needs of this population and that will make a meaningful contribution to quality of life. The contract for this next phase is currently under negotiation.