The aim of this ERC PoC is to enable the design of new digital smell healthcare applications (e.g. smell training) through the development of a highly accurate, efficient, adaptive, and affordable smell-delivery technology (hardware and software components), and demonstrate its use to healthcare professionals.
The human sense of smell is powerful, it makes an important and yet often undervalued contribution to our life and wellbeing with a unique link to emotions and memories. Smell dysfunctions or loss (even temporary) give rise to a range of problems, which can affect personal safety, enjoyment of food, personal hygiene, and can cause serious mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety and social isolation. In Europe and the USA, around 20% of the general adult population has some form of smell dysfunction and this number rises to 75% for people aged between 70–80 years. In 2050, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 65 years and over. The negative effects of smell dysfunctions have recently been experienced by a larger global population due to the impact of COVID-19. Regardless of a temporary or chronic smell dysfunction, there is an unmet need for digital smell care applications that empower individuals and healthcare professionals to properly care and treat negative effects.
Smell training can make a difference to people’s health, personal and emotional wellbeing in older age. Additionally, reliably recording a person’s smell capabilities can detect dysfunctions that can be an early sign of degenerative conditions (Dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease), even a decade or more before the onset of cognitive or motor symptoms. SmellHealth will not only provide technological innovation for smell delivery and control, but also enable the collection of reliable data, the creation of digital datasets based on smell performance and thus extend the benefits of personalised electronic healthcare records for monitoring, diagnosis, and prevention.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeERC-POC-LS - ERC Proof of Concept Lump Sum Pilot
SW16 3HD London