There are currently many information and communication technology (ICT) solutions available in Europe for people giving Alzheimer care. These solutions provide tools that are intended to help informal carers in areas such as reducing burden, anxiety, stress and its negative outcomes, and increasing opportunities for positive interactions and support. Many of these digital solutions describe co-creation methods in their design, meaning that they have been created with the input of the end user, in this case informal carers for people with Alzheimer’s. However, a new report by the Co-Care project states that many of the ICT solutions available do not cover all the needs of the user.
In its latest report, the Co-Care project has presented the status of co-created ICT-based Alzheimer care solutions (devices, applications or experiences) in Spain, Portugal and the UK between 2015 and 2020. The report is the result of a thorough literature review of relevant documents published in the past 5 years and describes, analyses and classifies the selected ICT solutions by their process of design and development. The report also identifies limitations and gaps concerning the needs of informal caregivers; have these ICT products been created with the needs of informal caregivers in mind? Were caregivers included in the design process?
Despite the ICT solutions available, the research concludes that there is a lack of technological/digital resources in many relevant domains, such as physical health of the carer, the juggling of responsibilities, and information about legal regulation in caring. It was also found that during the last five years there has been investment from organisations, companies and universities to address difficulties and constraints felt by informal carers in their daily lives, but there is still much room for development.
The state of play report sets the foundation for the rest of the work planned during the lifetime of the Co-Care project. Co-Care’s main aim is to promote and increase co-creation in the design of digital Alzheimer care solutions for informal carers. It aims to produce a training course for ICT, health and social care students and entrepreneurs, and develop a toolkit for informal caregivers, so they can choose technological tools that may help them in their daily life. To develop such tools, it is essential to have an overview of the already existing ICT-based solutions for the informal caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease, designed through co-creation.
Read the state of play of co-created ICT based Alzheimer care solutions report.