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Connected speakers and Alzheimer’s disease

Connected speakers and Alzheimer’s disease

The Vaincre Alzheimer’s Foundation and Amazon announce the creation of an innovative research project to test the impact of Alexa, the group’s voice assistant, and the development of a voice app designed by experts from the Vaincre Alzheimer’s Foundation. These technological innovations aim to assist people with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease with activities of daily living for greater independence, improved quality of life, and easier communication with loved ones.

Patient care and caregiver support, a social issue

Caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and supporting caregivers is a major challenge.

In France, home care is in the vast majority of cases the preferred solution for relatives to support a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Or neurological disease. In fact, nearly two-thirds (63%) of patients live at home, while 37% reside in an institution (294,000 in nursing homes and 21,000 in long-term care units)*. To enable people with Alzheimer’s disease to continue living at home and provide relief to their loved ones, it is possible to contact different services, for example a home help service, day care or a team specialized in Alzheimer’s care.
Other solutions exist such as geolocation devices, remote location sharing, remote assistance, fall detection devices or even the use of tablets. Using new technologies in a sensible way can reassure loved ones and help the sick person maintain their independence and quality of life. They are useful for taking care of your health, ensuring your safety, communicating, motivating and simplifying daily tasks. Among the new solutions, discover Echo range devices equipped with Alexa and a complementary voice app development project in France.

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Alexa and the Vaincre Alzheimer’s Foundation: an ambitious multi-year project

As part of a project to test and develop voice apps with Alexa, the Vaincre Alzheimer Foundation invites a team of specialist doctors (neurologists and psychiatrists) working in the Memory Resource and Research Centers (CMRR), places for the diagnosis and development of clinical research on Alzheimer’s disease. Their goal is to develop a voice command business case for an Alexa-equipped Echo device and a complementary voice app powered by Alexa teams in France. They will also examine the acceptability and ease of use of the device.

This development will depend on the opinions of patients and their families, in addition to the scientific and medical expertise of specialized doctors. The first feedback from beta testers is encouraging : “Thanks to the Alexa app, I stay in touch with my mother at any time of the day. I have livened up his daily life with photos, video and music that I can provide to him remotely. Being able to have dinner with her every night via video is great!” she says Elodie Galliaud, a mother and career woman, takes care of her mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. She recommends Alexa: “It’s security, connection, connectivity, easy to use, and you can liven up your daily life with little things remotely. “.
Thanks to the support of the Alexa teams in France (technical and logistical support and the donation of 150 devices), the Vaincre Alzheimer Foundation will test this application on a large number of patient volunteers recruited within the partner CMRRs. This five-year development project will allow voice assistance to be provided to the public to improve the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients.

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Assisting the Vaincre Alzheimer’s Foundation in its research mission

Along with the component powered by Amazon and Alexa, the Vaincre Alzheimer Foundation is calling on the generosity of individuals and businesses to support the project and fund expertise and essential human resources.

The project involves appointing a committee of four experts (neurologists and psychiatrists) in several cities across France, who will profile residents and help recruit them. A PhD student will also be appointed and will have the role of leading the research project, under the responsibility of his or her thesis supervisor and presenting the results midway and at the end of the study. The appointment of a Clinical Research Assistant (CRA) is also essential to assist and support the work of the doctoral student in the area.

It also includes funding for writing the research protocol and submitting it to the ethics committee, which are essential steps for starting a study. But also writing and publishing scientific articles with the aim of sharing the project results with the scientific community.

The Vaincre Alzheimer Foundation launches a fundraising campaign In order to fund this innovative research project to test the impact of Alexa and develop a personalized voice app for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.

To support the Vaincre Alzheimer Foundation, donate to the research and discover Elodie Galliod’s full video testimony, go to: https://philanthropie.vaincrealzheimer.org/soutenir-le-projet-application-vocale/