Arrow ImageAcute, PICU and Rapid Response

Posted on May 16 2024 by Bobbie Kelly

St Andrew's embraces technology to support patients living with complex Dementia

Dementia rates are soaring, with one in two people in the UK affected by the condition either directly or via a loved one, according to Alzheimer's Research UK.

Here at St Andrew's we offer specialist care for individuals with complex Dementia needs, and we're always looking for new ways to best support the people in our care. We're embracing technology, and our researchers and clinicians are proud to be working with tech experts at Memjo (an enterprise founded at the University of East Anglia) to develop an innovative, digitised version of memory journals for people with Dementia and other neurological conditions.

The project is going exceptionally well. “I’m gonna get one of these,” says one such resident as he taps at a tablet device in a room overlooking the tree-lined grounds of our Northampton hospital. Another laughs to himself while using the device to watch an old sitcom he hasn’t seen for years.

These moments of interaction and feedback form the basis of a long-term project which aims to unleash the potential of technology in the lives of people with the condition.

“Co-production is very important within our organisation,” says researcher Dr Inga Stewart. “This project has been developed with people with lived experience – those with dementia or caring for people with the condition, alongside the professionals.

“We have to involve the people that will be using the technology and not make assumptions, as a clinician or a technology developer, about what may or may not be helpful.”

Together, St Andrew's and Memjo have a joint ambition to develop dementia-friendly technology that is well evidenced, universally accessible and able to span different care settings. The focal point is Memjo’s prototype tablet device designed to promote cognitive stimulation and reminiscence.

Thank you to the team at NR Times for featuring our project in their latest publication.