The Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease mostly affects the elderly. In Europe, half of the people over 80 are living in their own home, so if they lose their autonomy due to dementia, they need immediate intervention from their environment.
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as other cognitive and dementia-related illnesses directly affect 44 million people worldwide. However, if we include their relatives and those who are helping them in the social and health care system, we get a much larger number. So it is a disease that has both medical and social significance.
The disease has significant costs. Dementia-related expenditure in the European Union reaches 0.5% of GDP. Though developed countries are spending more and more money on curing these diseases and slowing down the progress of them, they have not achieved a breakthrough. It is predicted that the number of patients with dementia will double by 2030 and increase by three times by 2050.
It is understandable, in addition to finding appropriate remedies, an early diagnosis of disease, and to keep the autonomy and quality of life is becoming increasingly important. In this task, solutions that integrating IT and healthcare methods based on scientific surveys have a prominent role. The ICT4Life project has been founded to design and support these solutions.
Goals of the ICT4Life project’s development:
- Continuously monitoring the patient so early alerting and immediate intervention can be made;
- Preventing home-based accidents (such as dropping), social isolation, depression and other emotional difficulties as well as drug treatment problems;
- Maintaining the patient’s independence, security and social relations;
- Supporting caregivers and reduce emotional stress.
The pilot in Hungary
We are proud that besides France and Spain, in March 2018, the first pilot project could be launched in Hungary, where, besides monitoring patients, a number of support services can be tested by the participants, some of which has been developed by Netis.
Five patients of a day care center in Pécs have received an electronic bracelet that collects and transduces information of its wearer’s movement and behavior by sensors to evaluate the data. With this information we are able to get to know the needs of the patients so we can help and provide them solutions more effectively.
About the ICT4Life project
The ICT4Life is a three-year R&D project, sponsored by the European Horizon2020 program with 9 organizations from 6 European countries (Artica Telemedicina, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Asociación Parkinson Madrid, University of Maastricht, CERTH, E-Seniors, HOPE, NETIS, Pécsi Tudományegyetem), who are established the ICT4Life IT platform.
This platform is aimed to support people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other dementias and their environment (including family members, doctors or social workers). Its primary goal is to strengthen the patients’ autonomy and improve their life quality, while their environment is supported by IT tools in many areas.
Author: Éva Lajkó