Understanding challenging behavior of persons with dementia using an app- and sensor- based assistive technologies for diagnostic and decision processes

Project Overview

Duration:2015 - 2018
Funding:Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) im Rahmen der Initiative „Pflegeinnovationen für Menschen mit Demenz“ (75 % Förderanteil durch BMBF, 25% Eigenmittel der Projektpartner)
Project Management:JProf. Dr. Margareta Halek (DZNE Witten)
Project Coordination and Project Staff:Sven Kernebeck (DZNE Witten)
Project Staff:Dr. Daniela Holle



DZNE Rostock/Greifswald
Hochschule Düsseldorf
Euregon AG
Universität Rostock MMIS
Städtische Seniorenheime Krefeld


Between 51 and 88% of people with dementia (PwD) who live at home show challenging behavior such as running away, being restless or asking something constantly over the course of disease. Handling challenging behavior is one of the most demanding burdens for both, the formal and informal caregivers. This behavior might be easier to handle by understanding backgrounds and triggers of the disease. Considering that, professional nurses use the so called understanding diagnostics. The IdA Assessment is a systematic method for understanding diagnostics which is only available for professional nurses, however. A method for informal caregivers is not yet available.

Methods and Aims

The particular focus of insideDEM is to adapt the IdA Assessment for informal caregivers. This is realized by an assistive technology which should simplify the complex procedure of understanding diagnostics and make it user-friendly. An essential aspect of this assistive technology represents real-time sensor-based activity recognition of challenging behavior of PwD in form of a specific sensor-bracelet.  This sensor-bracelet is used to measure e.g., motion behavior or parameter like pulse and skin conductance. In order to ensure the highest possible user acceptance of the technical system, a user-centered and value-oriented design process is applied and evaluated at an early stage. Thus, the sustainability of the approach is guaranteed. In parallel to the studies, both, an assessment of social-legal and the ethical consequences of this assistance technology are conducted. Consequently, the following aims are to be achieved:

  1. To increase the quality of care for persons with dementia by adapting the IdA Assesment as a part of an assistive technology for informal caregivers.
  2. Real-time sensor-based activity recognition of challenging behavior of persons with dementia.
  3. Efficient computer-based implementation of an assistive technology in the working processes between informal and formal caregivers.
  4. To present an exemplary and user-centered approach to develop assistive technologies for persons with dementia.
  5. Analyzing ethical and legal consequences of the insideDEM assistive technology.

Association Parnterns related to Project Parts

DZNE site Witten:
Project part: Development and evaluation of the use of insideDEM-technology in home care
Project lead: JProf. Dr. Margareta Halek
Project coordination: Sven Kernebeck

DZNE site Rostock/Greifswald:
Project part: Development and evaluation of the use of insideDEM-technology in home care
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Stefan Teipel

Hochschule Düsseldorf: 
Project part: Design of a value-oriented user-participation and suitable interfaces
Project lead:  Prof. Dr. Christian Geiger

Euregon AG:
Project part: „MoDia - Mobile Diagnosis- and support of interventions for people with dementia“
Project lead: Helmut Ristok

University of Rostock - Institute of Computer Science:  Mobile multimedia-based information systemes and technology  
Project part: Sensor-based activity recognition and screening of interventions
Project lead: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Kirste

Städtische Seniorenheime Krefeld:
Project part: user-orientiated dissemination
Project lead: Andreas Kutschke

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