Assistive Artificial Intelligence Technologies for Dementia and Age-Related Cognitive Decline
Project funded by own resources
Project title Assistive Artificial Intelligence Technologies for Dementia and Age-Related Cognitive Decline
Principal Investigator(s) Elger, Bernice Simone
Co-Investigator(s) Jotterand, Fabrice
Stoppe, Gabriela
Kressig, Reto W.
Project Members Ienca, Marcello
Organisation / Research unit Ethik / Bio- und Medizinethik (Elger)
Project start 01.01.2015
Probable end 31.12.2018
Status Active

The aging of the European population and the consequent increasing incidence of dementia and age-related cognitive decline pose a major problem for the health-care services in terms of financial management, caregiving burden and rise significant societal and ethical implications.  The proportion of the total European population older than 65 is set to increase from 16.1 % in 2000 to 27.5 % by 2050, while the proportion of the population aged over 80 years (3.6 % in 2000) is expected to reach 10 % by 2050. With population over 65 being >17% of the total population, Switzerland, Germany and Italy are on the front line to face the high costs of long-term care and institutionalization for dementia patients (6 900 000 000 CHF per  year only in Switzerland) and the resulting burden on the health-care system as well as on non-professional caregivers. A promising approach to this emergent crisis is the massive development and deployment of intelligent assistive technologies (e.g. environmental sensors, biosensors, cognitive orthoctics, and advanced integrated systems) that compensate for the physical and sensory deficits that may accompany elders with dementia and age-related cognitive decline and support them in the completion of  Activities of Daily Living  (ADL), in a manner that enables them to stay longer, safely and more independently in the domestic environment. In fact, technologies that can help cognitively impaired elders live at home longer or to maintain more independence in assisted living facilities would provide a “triple-win” effect, improving quality of life of patients, reducing the burden on caregivers and the health-care system and potentially saving significant amounts of money.

While rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, pervasive and ubiquitous computing (PUC) and other advanced trends in software and hardware technology have already led to the commercialization of a number of assistive technologies (ATs) for dementia home-care, little information has been collected so far on the views and attitudes towards these technologies of all major stakeholders, namely patients, family members and professional caregivers.

Aim of this study is threefold: (I) to produce an up-to-date index of intelligent ATs developed for the purposes of dementia home-care; (II) to collect extensive transnational information across Switzerland, Germany and Italy regarding the impact of indexed ATs on the quality of life of users; and (III) to investigate the views, needs and attitudes towards ATs of dementia and cognitive decline patients as well as their professional and non-professional caregivers with particular attention on ethically relevant features including privacy, personhood, autonomy, and safety.

Financed by University funds

Published results ()

  ID Autor(en) Titel ISSN / ISBN Erschienen in Art der Publikation
3650826  Ienca, Marcello; Haselager, Pim  Hacking the brain: brain–computer interfacing technology and the ethics of neurosecurity  1388-1957  Ethics and information technology   
3650829  Ienca, Marcello, Jotterand, Fabrice, Vica, Constantin, Elger, Bernice Simone  Social and Assistive Robotics in Dementia Care: Ethical Recommendations for Research and Practice    International Journal of Social Robotics   
3650833  Schekter, Viviane; Ienca, Marcello; Elger, Bernice Simone  Supporting Families and Children Living in the Shadow of Prisoners     Emerging Issues in Prison Health   
3650835  Stüfen, Frank; Ienca, Marcello, Elger, Bernice Simone  Spiritual Help During Detention: Specific Responses to Different Stages and Types of Imprisonment.    Emerging Issues in Prison Health   
3650853  Ienca, Marcello; Jotterand, Fabrice  Intelligent Assistive Technologies for Dementia: Social, Legal and Ethical Implications       
3650855  Ienca, Marcello; Haselager, Pim  Brain-Computer Interfacing, Social Responsibility and the Ethics of Neurosecurity.    Neuroethics   
3650857  Ienca, Marcello  On the Contribution of Blindsight to the Understanding of Consciousness: Empirical, Conceptual and Normative Implications    Frontiers in Neuroethics: Conceptual and Empirical Advancements   
3650861  Ienca, Marcello;   Neuroprivacy, neurosecurity and brain-hacking: Emerging issues in neural engineering    Bioethica Forum   

Cooperations ()

  ID Kreditinhaber Kooperationspartner Institution Laufzeit - von Laufzeit - bis
3405909  Elger, Bernice Simone  Borry, Pascal, Prof.  Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (K.U.Leuven)  01.09.2014  28.02.2018 
1546141  Elger, Bernice Simone  Kressig, Reto, Prof. Dr., Chefarzt und Extraordinarius für Geriatrie  Universitätsspital Basel  01.09.2011  30.09.2014 
1544126  Elger, Bernice Simone  Emanuel, Ezekiel, Prof. Dr.  University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia  20.06.2012  21.06.2012 
1548685  Engel Glatter, Sabrina  Andorno, Roberto  University Zurich  01.08.2012  01.08.2015 
3722327  Elger, Bernice Simone  Haselager, Pim, Prof.  Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition & Behavior, Radboud University, the Netherlands  01.09.2014  01.10.2017 
3722332  Elger, Bernice Simone  Caon, Maurizio, Dr.  University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland  01.09.2014  01.10.2017 
3722334  Elger, Bernice Simone  Viça, Constantin   University of Bucharest  01.09.2014  01.10.2017 

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