A new £20m Care Research and Technology Centre at Imperial College London will use artificial intelligence and robotics to help people with dementia live at home for longer.
The centre joins six other national discovery science centres that, collectively, make up the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI).
Scientists hope that these advances in technology will support existing social care in the community to help people with dementia to live at home and stay out of hospital.
The new project will be funded by the UK DRI’s three founding partners: the Medical Research Council, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Fiona Carragher, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society said of the project to help people with dementia live at home for longer, 'Developing dementia shouldn’t have to mean losing your independence and your choice to live in your own home, but we know there can be problems – from the 74-year-old who kept leaving the gas on, to the woman whose urine infection went undetected so long she ended up spending 12 weeks in hospital – and we want to find a solution.
'We’ve seen technology transform the lives of people with other health conditions – now, with the work of the UK Dementia Research Institute Care and Technology centre, this is dementia’s moment to benefit from the latest developments in AI, smartphone technology and social robotics.
'But this work has to go hand in hand with the promised Government overhaul of social care – or scarce, expensive and poor quality dementia care will only undermine our efforts to improve people’s lives through technology.
'While we’re working hard to ensure we find that miracle dementia drug, this pioneering work has the potential to change lives right now. Not just by keeping people with dementia where they want to be - at home - for longer, but also reducing the 50,000 a year avoidable hospital admissions by nipping health problems in the bud.'