Living well with Dementia: ATiC and PocketMedic collaboration showcases innovation in Wales


14.05.2021

A new video from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre (ATiC) shows how it has worked with a Swansea-based enterprise to deliver support for people living with dementia in a different and innovative way.

A new video from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre (ATiC) shows how it has worked with a Swansea-based enterprise to deliver support for people living with dementia in a different and innovative way.

The video, sharing the results of the collaboration with eHealth Digital Media Ltd and presented by ATiC Innovation Fellows Dr Caroline Hagerman and Tim Stokes, outlines the research undertaken by the team over a period of just over a year to inform a series of 10 new films. The films focus on delivering support, training, and education for dementia patients, their families, carers, and healthcare professionals.

The films will be available on eHealth Digital Media’s established PocketMedic platform, which delivers high-quality health information films ‘prescribed’ by clinicians to support their patients in managing their health.

The project’s aims were to generate a series of films about the daily lives and challenges of people living with dementia, with the aim of helping viewers to empathise with them and understand how to communicate with and care for them. The introduction, Living well with Dementia, can be viewed here www.medic.video/dementia-intro.

The project used advanced User Experience (UX) and human behavioural research tools, such as eye-tracking and facial expression recognition technology, in the creation and evaluation of the films.

The ATiC team worked closely with eHealth Digital Media’s Creative Director Kimberley Littlemore, whose parents, Clive and Pauline Jenkins, in their 80s, both live with dementia and were her inspiration for the research project.

Cameras were set up around Clive and Pauline’s home to keep track of their daily lives. Additionally, the couple used wearable eye-tracking glasses while performing household activities, so the team could ‘see the world through their eyes’. 

This footage helped the team to detect and understand any patterns and triggers over time and also to pick out key moments, which could be analysed and discussed further by clinicians and academics in the field.

Dr Caroline Hagerman, ATiC Innovation Fellow, said: “To me this project was a perfect blend of technical, rigorous analysis and powerful emotional moments. We tracked Clive and Pauline’s behaviour and analysed viewers’ response to the films using technical methods and behavioural software, but at the end of the day the real power of the films is the impact of Clive and Pauline.

“Getting to know their lives and seeing their highs and lows is ultimately the anchor of the films. Viewers responded so positively to the combination of concrete advice and interesting footage in the films. The content is informative and based in research and evidence, but also carries a strong emotional impact.”

Kimberley Littlemore, Creative Director of eHealth Digital Media Ltd, which is located in Newton, Swansea said: “In the world of Dementia you hear the phrase, “Nothing about us, without us!” on a regular basis.  Demonstrating and sharing the lived-experience of dementia, with its ups as well as its downs, has proven to be an inspirational way of delivering information and building confidence in carers and family members. 

“Looking through the UX evaluation, it is so encouraging and rewarding to read that people feel more confident about supporting people to live well with dementia as a result of watching these films.  

“I have nothing but admiration for my parents who have allowed me to share their journey.  Something good is coming out of a very challenging situation for us all.” 

Tim Stokes, ATiC Innovation Fellow, added: “It all sounds highly technical but at the heart of it all, it simply involves understanding people. Understanding how they interact with each other; understanding their needs; and helping to develop the best health and wellbeing products, services and systems – placing people at the heart of the research.

“Initially this project began life as a simple experiment that sprang from the idea of Kimberley wanting ‘to see dementia through her parents’ eyes’ – and we were literally able to help her do that by using our mobile retinal tracking glasses.

“It has helped us to understand how people with dementia live and understand what types of challenges they face on a daily basis.”

ATiC, an integrated research centre which puts user-centred thinking and strategic innovation tools into practice through its cutting-edge User Experience (UX) and Usability Evaluation research facility located in Swansea’s Innovation Quarter, is a partner in the £33m Accelerate Wales (the Welsh Health Innovation Technology Accelerator) project.

The pioneering Accelerate collaboration between UWTSD, Cardiff University’s Clinical Innovation Accelerator, Swansea University’s Health Technology Centre, and the Life Sciences Hub Wales, is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO).

Digital communications company eHealth Digital Media Ltd produce and deliver behavioural change content such as high-quality content information films through its established PocketMedic platform. The films are created in collaboration with NHS Wales and England and third sector organisations such as Diabetes UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. Visit www.medic.video/patients.

The films are then ‘prescribed’ by clinicians to support their patients to become more expert in the self-managing of their chronic disease, such as diabetes, COPD, depression and anxiety.

The films can be watched on mobile phones, tablets, or PCs, and this type of content and delivery has been evaluated. Papers have been published to show informational films drive behavioural change, clinical improvements, and deliver both health and economic impact where self-management is viable. (Rice et al, 2017, Rayman et al, 2020, Knox, 2019).

Further Information

Bethan Evans
Swyddog Prosiect ATiC, Marchnata a Chyfathrebu | ATiC Project Officer, Marketing and Communications

Canolfan Arloesi Technolegau Cynorthwyol (CATC) | Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre (ATiC)

Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant | University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Technium 1 | Technium 1
Heol y Brenin | King’s Road
Abertawe | Swansea
SA1 8PH

Email bethan.evans@uwtsd.ac.uk