AR and Data Driven Reminiscence System Therapy
With a growing population of elderly people, knowing someone diagnosed with Dementia is not uncommon and it hits close to home. Research has shown that Reminiscence therapy is often practiced in treating Dementia patients but the patients struggle to articulate their thoughts and feelings, making it difficult for caregivers to effectively help them. Having said that, the challenge also lies in the fact that every dementia patient is unique. In order to optimize and individualize the reminiscence therapy, we used the irrefutable engagement qualities of Augmented Reality (AR) spatial computing to enable patients to conduct self-therapy with real-time feedback to caregivers and therapists.
Our data-driven AR reminiscence therapy system is comprised of a user-friendly mobile application built on a cloud platform as well as a prototype smart table that can be integrated with electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors to provide neurological insights during the reminiscence therapy. The cloud platform manages shared repositories of tagged media files a.k.a. ‘memories’ that can be triggered through AR technology and analyses the engagement of the user during the experiences. From gathering data such as memories of people, places and events that a patient would respond most positively to, caregivers are able to create more effective therapies with more engaging AR memories. The simplicity of the mobile application usage was not only designed for the patients in mind – much thought was also given to make it easy for caregivers too – all you have to do is select a photo then drag and drop the AR content and BOOM! – you’ve just created an AR experience. The smart table on the other hand, uses 5G and Tangible User Interface technology to bring memories to life when particular objects of sentimental value are placed on the table. The wearable EEG sensors analyze the electrical impulses of the user’s brain waves during the interaction and translate them into understandable data providing valuable insight on the efficacy of the therapy session.
In collaboration with Maxis and Caring With You Dementia Enrichment Programme Centre, our AR Reminiscence Therapy System was launched during Chinese New Year 2020. For a limited time, the smart table system was available for demonstration at Menara Maxis, Kuala Lumpur while on-ground activation teams assisted dementia patients and their family members at the Caring With You: Dementia Centre with adopting the mobile application for treatment therapies. We hope to continue improving this system so as to make a positive difference to the lives stricken by this horrible disease.