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iWander: An Android application for dementia patients

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3 Author(s)
Sposaro, F. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL, USA ; Danielson, J. ; Tyson, G.

Non-pharmacological management of dementia puts a burden on those who are taking care of a patient that suffer from this chronic condition. Caregivers frequently need to assist their patients with activities of daily living. However, they are also encouraged to promote functional independence. With the use of a discrete monitoring device, functional independence is increased among dementia patients while decreasing the stress put on caregivers. This paper describes a tool which improves the quality of treatment for dementia patients using mobile applications. Our application, iWander, runs on several Android based devices with GPS and communication capabilities. This allows for caregivers to cost effectively monitor their patients remotely. The data uncollected from the device is evaluated using Bayesian network techniques which estimate the probability of wandering behavior. Upon evaluation several courses of action can be taken based on the situation's severity, dynamic settings and probability. These actions include issuing audible prompts to the patient, offering directions to navigate them home, sending notifications to the caregiver containing the location of the patient, establishing a line of communication between the patient-caregiver and performing a party call between the caregiver-patient and patient's local 911. As patients use this monitoring system more, it will better learn and identify normal behavioral patterns which increases the accuracy of the Bayesian network for all patients. Normal behavior classifications are also used to alert the caregiver or help patients navigate home if they begin to wander while driving allowing for functional independence.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2010 Annual International Conference of the IEEE

Date of Conference:

Aug. 31 2010-Sept. 4 2010