PACE, old man sitting on a bench

PACE – Proactive Care for the Elderly with Dementia

A large part of Danish elderly citizens suffer from dementia. The PACE project will utilizing sensors to improve the quality of life for elderly citizens with dementia without interfering with their private life. 

 

Background

At Danish nursing homes, up to 90% of the citizens suffer from serious dementia. Citizens with dementia often has difficulties expressing themselves, which results in that disease may not be detected before hospitalization is necessary. With an accreation of elderly citizens with dementia and a continuing economic pressure on the Danish health sector, prevention means are of outmost importance. A central point is to ensure that caregiving benefits from current technologies. Today, several nursing homes have implemented a variety of healthcare technologies in their care practice, but the prevention of disease among citizens with dementia is a steadily increasing challenge.

Objectives

The PACE project will develop methods that

  • can unite the information from these technologies,
  • in a way that results in a detailed picture of the citizen’s everyday practices, and
  • at the same time show deviations from everyday routines.

These changes may potentially indicate beginning diseases, which may lead to hospitalization, but may be proactively prevented. The challenge is to do this in a way so that the citizen appreciates and wishes the technologies, and thus can continue her/his life without the sensation of being observed.

Big Data in the Elder Care

Healthcare technologies has to some extent been installed in Danish nursing homes. For example;

  • ’intelligent floors’ where potential sensors register steps and falls
  • movement sensors that register passage to the bathroom
  • light sensors registering the use of lighting

All of these sensors generate data every day and this information can be utilized proactively to detect important incidents and prevent hospitalizations.

The PACE project will use Big Data technologies to link such information, and develop methods to find the deviations from everyday practices, which may indicate a potential health problem for the citizen. At the same time, the technology only passes information on to the staff in the extent necessary for proactive care.

Societal Impact

If hospitalisations and other needs for citizens with dementia can be proactively prevented, it will create increased quality of life for citizens with dementia. Moreover, work environment for the nursing home staff will improve due to more efficient means of detecting early warning signs as well by lowering the level of conflicts with citizens with dementia.

Reduction of hospitalisation and other preventive mitigation of complications will reduce societal costs for dementia. Moreover, Danish companies and providers of healthcare technologies will obtain a platform at the front of the international development, where market potentials may prove very big.

Contact

Anders Stockmarr
Associate Professor
DTU Compute
+45 45 25 33 32
http://www.cachet.dk/research/research-projects/pace
19 MARCH 2019