Welfare technology company Mylifeproducts has initiated a new test project delivering tablets and software to families with relatives with memory impairments in the Bergen region.
Teaming up with The Kavli Trust, which provide financing and the National Association for Public Health in the county of Hordaland, which is the local representative and contact point, Mylifeproducts aims to recruit 20 families to test the product for a year. Mylifeproducts has developed its own software in the form of an app for Android based tablets, with a series of functionalities to help people with dementia or memory impairment to cope with their daily tasks and improve their quality of life.
On the screen, the user can see the clock, calendar appointments and the like. The user can enjoy photos, news and radio, and contact their loved ones. Family members or caretakers can post information that appears on the screen, such as calendar events, photos in albums and memos showing where various things in the house are located, and give reminders on how to do different tasks. The technology was developed in a research project during 2011-2012, and was first tested in Norway, UK and Germany. The results showed that the elderly experienced greater happiness, the families experienced less stress and both parties experienced greater confidence when they used the technology. In the first test, Mylifeproducts had the responsibility to get the users started. This time, the families will collect the tablets and get it started on their own.
“It is very important to test the app in a real life situation. We are introducing an app which is basically associated with younger generations into a market characterized by high age, disease and a certain fear for technology. So one of the important questions are; is it perceived as plug-and-play and is it intuitive,” says Mylifeproducts CEO Jorun Pedersen. “We hope the project give us more information about the potential problems the families experience.”
So far, 18 families have collected their tablets and 16 have downloaded the app. The project has three milestones; when the users have downloaded and installed the app, follow-up conversations with the families during the project period and a final evaluation.
“We believe this will give us valuable and important information before we introduce the app in the European market,” Pedersen says.
The project is conducted in the Bergen region, but Pedersen hopes to do similar projects with interested parties in other regions. We are eager to do more projects, so please feel free to contact us, she says.