Multimedia Knowledge and Social Media Analytics Laboratory

Assistive Technology for the Elderly behind a Vast Change

As scientists, we are used to evaluating and presenting our results with numbers, tables and graphs. What we all tend to forget is that research in the bigger picture is about improving people's lives and has direct impact to our society. Therefore, we were more than glad when such a prominent example appeared. One participant in our research project in assistive technology for the elderly, presented such a vast change that, she, much to our surprise, appeared on the popular TV show “Greece Got Talent”, on a major Greek TV network. Regardless of the show’s content and genre and focusing on the scientific part of our research, we were thrilled to witness the vast improvement through this individual’s joy and excitement while dancing and singing on stage, which is nothing alike her initial status.

Mrs Eleni Grammenoudi had just concluded her participation in a one-year remote monitoring with a sensor-based intelligent system installed at her own home, supporting clinical decision making during weekly or bi-weekly clinical visits. The research behind the system was developed in Dem@Care (www.demcare.eu) and extended to year-long studies by Carealia (www.carealia.gr). When joining the programme, Mrs Grammenoudi presented symptoms common to most participants, such as reduced social interactions and sleep problems. However, already midway through the year, the positive effect of the personalized clinical interventions supported by the system was traced by measuring improvements in sleep, daily function and utterly positive change in neuropsychological assessment and clinical evaluation.

As she testified herself: “Already through the remote monitoring and support programme with certain non-pharmaceutical interventions I feel better and happier to participate in such programmes that encourage people, reduce stress and promote mental health for the elders”.

Our vision is that all people get the support they need. But regardless of the aid and care provided, Mrs Grammenoudi sets an inspiring example for a positive attitude. We wish that people, elders or not, with or without mental deficiencies, realize that life is full of beautiful experiences and surprises worth living at any age. 

This research was supported by the EU funded FP7 Dem@Care project (http://demcare.eu).

We have obtained all necessary permissions to use information/video/photographic material relating to our participant in the publication above to be published by MkLab or any of its affiliates, CERTH, ITI, Carealia, in all media and languages throughout the world to make this story public.