According to current estimates 130,000 people with dementia live in Austria. Due to continuous increase in the age, the proportion will double by 2050. Adequate care, especially in the home setting, is one of the biggest societal challenges. The cause of Alzheimer disease is not yet clear. It is considered incurable and drugs used so far only slow down the evolvement of symptoms. Even the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer ended in research for new drugs early 2018.
Unimodal treatment strategies are currently being replaced by multimodal intervention concepts, like in successful prevention studies (FINGER, Ngandu et al., 2015). The combination of cognitive, physical and social stimulation promises significant potential for success (Kane et al., 2017). Motivational components, like in playful approaches, were not yet seen important for necessary behavioural changes, but this will change.
The overall goal of multimodAAL is the implementation of an innovatively designed reference study to determine the effectiveness of ICT-supported multimodal intervention with international recognition.
A flexible, personalizable and cost-effective technical overall solution for multimodal (cognitive, motion-oriented and social) training is complemented by Serious Game-supported survey of cognitive and physical performance data as well as lifestyle influencing factors and evaluated in a 1.5-year test phase with persons in the early stages of Alzheimer’s dementia (n=220).
For care providers, technology providers and users the planned project results will lead to innovative possibilities of objectively measurable application of multimodal, personalisable training programmes with the aim to provide economic motivation and support for persons with dementia.
The aim of the AAL test region multimodAAL is to evaluate the challenges of intelligent information technologies as appropriate tools for efficient and user-friendly intervention. The Serious Game Theratainment prototype is being innovatively expanded into an adaptive motivation assistant for multimodal stimulating workouts and playful assessment of risk factors (e.g. lifestyle, social, dietary). The aim is to demonstrate the effectiveness of training for activation, to identify trends early in the course of the disease and to measurably slow down the progression of dementia. The evaluation is based on neuropsychological test batteries, MR imaging analyzes and care dependency indicators, as well as the user data of the serious game.
multimodAAL will conduct an internationally recognized reference study in the context of ICT-based intervention and data collection with 220 participants in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and will answer questions around care for people with dementia:
- Are multimodal interventions with theratainment able to stabilize cognitive decline in comparison to a control group without that intervention?
- Is ICT based, playful acquisition efficient for collection of multimodal data and does it allow deriving trend indicators for risk estimates?
- Are deep learning methods able to extract predictive estimates of dementia from continuously collected status data for early / timely intervention in a meaningful way?
- Which lifestyle and risk factors have predictive potential?
- How do cognitive performance characteristics map to care needs?
multimodAAL will become a centre of Austrian dementia research and intervention technology and will be widely known through of interdisciplinary events and stakeholder workshops. Social involvement of people with dementia (“Alzheimer Café”) and their relatives through “Olympic Games” will add to this. Meetings with “Friends of Dementia” like in Northern European models and the involvement of society in a “dementia-friendly city” will accomplish the activities of multimodAAL.