The ReMember-Me project AAL-2019-6-188-CP is funded by the European Commission and the AAL Programme and is aiming to develop a holistic and personalized ICT system to detect and prevent cognitive decline at home utilizing a tablet and a social robot. The project has a 36-month duration, starting 1/4/2020 and ending 31/3/2023.
The first system prototype was developed in early 2021 by the consortium team of neuropsychologists, clinicians and technical teams. The prototype included the ReMember-Me Cognitive Assessment Scale (ReMCAS); a fully digital and self-administered instrument to assess cognitive function at home, a battery of standardised tests assessing depression, well-being, loneliness, physical activity, sleep and motor status and two types of serious games, namely, MEMO game and Story game. The MEMO game is an older-adult friendly version of the popular card memory game focused on training short-term memory and visuospatial skills. In the Story Game, the player is requested to arrange short sentences in the correct order in order to form a full story and then, answer short comprehension questions.
In total, 127 participants from Belgium, Cyprus, Italy and Romania have been recruited to test the first prototype of the ReMember-Me system in lab and field tests. The field tests begun in July 2021 and will be completed end of January 2022. Testers of the system are people aged 65+, their caregivers and family members, healthcare professionals and other commercial entities, such as healthcare clinics and residential care settings. The preliminary results showed that the ReMCAS is a promising instrument to remotely assess cognitive decline while the digital administration of it does not pose any significant difficulties for older adults. In addition, playing with the ReMember-Me games more than 19 hours per two months may be associated with higher scores in executive function tasks. Finally, in terms of commercialization, user feedback indicated that the system could fill a gap in existing market by offering a tool for healthcare professionals and informal caregivers to monitor older adults’ cognitive status but also, a recreational hub for older adults, adapted to their needs and preferences.
Heavy effort is, currently, being devoted to the development of the second prototype of the ReMember-Me system, mainly to the enrichment of the available features including games and activities, and fine-tuning the personalization feature.
The full set of activities available on the final version of the ReMember-Me system will include activities and games that older adults rate as recreational and meaningful for them, in order to increase their engagement and adherence to the system. Those activities include 7 serious games, book reading, card games, music and more and also, a socialization platform through which they can share their past experiences and historical knowledge with students and other credible community members. All available features are developed and adapted according to recent literature and research data, in order to maximize their brain training effect and cognitive benefits. Also, all features will be available in five languages, namely, English, Dutch, Greek, Italian and Romanian.
The features will be offered to the users in a personalized manner according to their preferences (e.g., music, cooking, gardening, crafts) and also, their vulnerabilities as detected by the ReMember-Me system. For example, the system will be able to suggest mindfulness, meditation or virtual forest tour activities to a person interested in nature and exhibiting high stress levels.
The second prototype will be thoroughly tested in lab and field tests starting from March 2022 with a total of 265 participants from Belgium, Cyprus, Italy and Romania.
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