Dementia Australia has released a digital story that showcases more than a decade of the organization’s use of virtual tools to support people with dementia.
Maree McCabe AM, CEO of Dementia Australia said The Digital Story – Innovative Technology Applications; Improving the experience of dementia for all’ – captures the story and impact of Dementia Australia’s pioneering use of virtual reality, apps and artificial intelligence to transform dementia care to improve understanding and awareness of dementia.
“We developed this story to recognize the visionary philanthropists, government and donor supporters who made it possible, and to acknowledge our team and employees who took developments from concept to reality,” said Ms. McCabe.
“’Cutting Edge Technology Applications’ celebrates how the use of technology is transforming and improving support, care practices, knowledge and awareness for all people affected by dementia.
“It is exciting to release this digital story as the latest addition to our technology suite. The BrainTrack app has surpassed 34,000 downloads since its launch in October 2022.”
BrainTrack is a free app and was developed as a tool that allows users to learn about brain health and track cognition over time through a series of fun travel-themed games. Users are encouraged to sign up each month and if they have concerns they can create a PDF report of the results to share with their GP to use as a conversation starter.
“That’s 34,000 people that we hope will now learn about brain health, modifiable risk factors for dementia and cognitive decline, and come forward early so they can access support and intervention if they have concerns,” Ms McCabe said.
Since first attempting to effect change through the use of immersive technology, Dementia Australia’s product offerings have brought dementia to life for thousands of Australians who are developing insight and empathy by experiencing its symptoms and effects firsthand.
“Professionals and family carers tell us how profound it is to step into the world of someone with dementia. And we know from formal evaluations how effective this style of training is compared to traditional chalk and talk,” said Ms. McCabe.
“The story sheds light on every step of our bold tech journey; Harnessing the power of gaming technologies and other high-tech tools to transform the way dementia is understood and cared for.
“We believed that if we could simulate the experience of what it is like to have dementia, we could drive transformation and change people’s attitudes, behaviors and practices, improve quality of life and provide care for people living with dementia.”
Other multi-award winning projects to be featured are EDIE (Educational Dementia Immersive Experience); the virtual reality experience Talk with Ted; an artificial intelligence avatar to help professional caregivers practice their communication skills; and Annie, the caregiver in your pocket, micro-lessons to caregivers through a convenient app with an anytime, anywhere approach.
“We have a range of tools and tools on offer to help all people affected by dementia and I strongly encourage everyone to try our new ‘high technology’ applications; Improving everyone’s experience of dementia to learn more,” said Ms McCabe.
Dementia Australia’s ‘high technology applications; Improving the Experience of Dementia for All” is available free of charge. Visit https://www.dementia.org.au/technology
For assistance please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking for information can also visit dementia.org.au.