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Interdisciplinary Network for Dementia Utilising Current Technology (INDUCT)

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - INDUCT (Interdisciplinary Network for Dementia Utilising Current Technology (INDUCT))

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2020-08-31

What is the problem/issue being addressed?
In Europe there are almost 7 million people with dementia and this is set to double by 2050. The G7 set an ambitious aim of a cure for dementia by 2025 but with the current state of scientific knowledge it is unlikely this will be achieved. If a cure is found it will take at least another 10 to 15 years to get it widely implemented and many people may not come forward until the dementia is well established. Dementia raises complex challenges for people with dementia, their families and for society since it leads to progressive deterioration in cognitive functioning and activities of daily living, resulting in people becoming more dependent on the support of others, social exclusion, carer stress and increasing care costs. Most people with dementia live in their own homes and want to maintain their independence and autonomy for as long as possible with support of informal and sometimes paid carers. It usually costs less to support people at home, but this puts a strain on families. The European Parliament and the Council set the ‘European initiative on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias goals’ of developing high quality, innovative research and helping people with dementia and their carers to preserve health, quality of life, autonomy and dignity.

What is it important for society?
In response to this urgent situation the business and social sectors are struggling to know what technology is needed and what works well. The complex nature of how humans relate to and use technology is reflected in the difficulties of applications which aim to support people with dementia. The EU has highlighted the need to “invest in scientific research and efficient approaches to care systems through the development of more effective, technology-assisted care to anticipate the economic and social impact of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia” (European parliament resolution 19 January 2011) on a European initiative on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (2010/2084(INI)). So far people with dementia have not been able to properly benefit from technology. This means there is an immediate need for research specialists working to improve dementia care and supporting people at home and therefore limiting the economic and societal costs. In this context, the INDUCT programme will develop 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), researchers who become experts in the health and social needs of people with dementia and the effective application of technological solutions to support them.

What are the overall objectives?
Objectives: To develop a multi-disciplinary, intersectorial educational research framework for Europe to improve technology and care for people with dementia, and to provide the evidence to show how technology can improve the lives of people with dementia with the following objectives:
1. to set up INDUCT the European multi-disciplinary, intersectorial educational research network
2. to provide a comprehensive training programme for ESRs to acquire a deep understanding of the nature of dementia and needs in relation to the use of technology and to equip them with the right skills needed for work in academia, industry or the health and social sector;
3. to determine the practical, cognitive and social factors needed to make technology more useable for people with dementia
4. to evaluate the effectiveness of specific contemporary technology
5. to trace facilitators and barriers for implementation of technology in dementia care
6. to disseminate the knowledge and evidence on how technology can be best applied and implemented in dementia care and can improve the lives of people with dementia.
"The INDUCT ESRs, beneficiaries, partners and management & training teams have delivered all the deliverables agreed in the Grant Agreement:
• 15 ESRs successfully completed their INDUCT ESR employment within the project time.
• Five INDUCT School for ESRs and INTERDEM Academy members (PhD students/ early career researchers in dementia care) have been completed successfully.
• All deliverables agreed in the Grant Agreement have been completed and submitted before the project end-date.
• Scientific knowledge generated from individual projects have been further developed as: ""Best Practice Guidance: Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia"". The guidance is freely available to the general public from the INDUCT website https://www.dementiainduct.eu/guidance/"
Objective 1
The world leading network INDUCT - Interdisciplinary Network for Dementia Utilising Current Technology was successfully set up involving 7 world leading research organisations, the World Health Organisation, and IDES an SME for technology, research and care, with 8 partners who include Alzheimer Europe, the leading non-academic sector organisation representing people with dementia and carers within Europe, Alzheimer’s Disease International, the World Occupational Therapy Federation, two other major universities and 3 other SMEs. The consortium was found to be the ideal team for INDUCT with interdisciplinary, intersectorial, and international perspectives from 8 countries, 4 international organisations, and other key sectors.

Objective 2
In collaboration with the INTERDEM Academy, INDUCT provided a state of the art training programme for ESRs this included 5 specialist summer/winter schools and a very extensive online course on dementia care and research. This means the ESRs have much needed expertise in dementia and technology equipping them well to produce socioeconomic benefits through further for work in academia, industry, and the health and social sectors.

Objectives 3 to 5
The “Best Practice Guidance Human interaction with technology in dementia” encompasses state of the art scientific insights and findings from the INDUCT projects organised by and addressing these 3 objectives. Extensive consultation sessions were carried out to ensure its usability and accessibility for a wide range of users including people with dementia, their formal and informal carers, policymakers, designers and researchers. The Guidance brings societal benefits through recommendations to improve the usability, effectiveness and implementation of technology in dementia.

Objective 6
The knowledge from INDUCT has been widely disseminated in line with the objectives. For example five ESRs have obtained their PhDs and a further eight ESRs are expected to obtain their PhD in 2021. Also 15 ESRs have published and/or submitted minimum of three scientific papers each with many publishing five or more articles. INDUCT projects have been presented at more than 80 national and international conferences, including Alzheimer Europe and Alzheimer Disease International conferences demonstrating very effective dissemination.
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