Malaga uses smartwatches for locating and monitoring patients suffering from neurocognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia
The Malaga Provincial Council has initiated a pilot project utilizing smartwatches to monitor patients with neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and other similar dementias.
The aim of the project is to enhance patient safety, mitigate risks, and alleviate family members’ concerns. Francisco Salado, the president of the provincial institution, has launched the project which will run until November.
The project involves 15 individuals from the Pizarra Day Center managed by the Association of Family Patients with Alzheimer’s and Similar Pizarra (AEFAS). Some of the participants who already use smartwatches attended the project’s unveiling.
Salado explained that the Malaga Provincial Council is dedicating almost 68 million euros this year to social policies, which include both home help for dependent people, benefits from Community Social Services and direct aid to families and associations and social entities that they work on citizen service projects.
“One in eight people over the age of 65 and one in two people over the age of 85 suffer from Alzheimer’s or some other associated dementia”, said a spokesperson from the Diputación.
How does it work?
The pilot program involves utilizing a smartwatch worn by the individual with the neurocognitive disorder and is paired with a family member’s mobile phone.
The smartwatch comes equipped with various features such as geolocation, which allows for accurate tracking of the user’s whereabouts, sending alerts if the user leaves their home or a set location.
Additionally, the device includes a fall detection system that notifies family members in case of any falls and also alerts them of any changes in vital signs such as blood pressure or heart rate.
Alzheimer’s on the increase
Alzheimer’s disease has been on the rise in recent years, but it is unclear whether this is due to an actual increase in the number of cases or an increase in awareness and improved diagnosis of the disease.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 50 million people worldwide are affected by dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-70% of dementia cases.
As the global population ages, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to increase. However, research is still ongoing to better understand the causes and risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease, and to develop more effective treatments for the disease.