Current Project (2019-2025)

Research Team: Timothy Constandinou (UKDRI Group Leader, Biosensor & Medical Device Technologies), Danilo Mandic (CSP Group, EEE Department), Adrien Rapeaux, Alan Bannon , Ghena Hammour, Ian Williams, Harry Davies, and Bryan Hsieh
Collaborators: David Sharp (Director), Payam Barnaghi (Co-Director, Surrey), other theme leads (Ravi Vaidyanathan, Paul Freemont, Derk-Jan Dijk) and other DRI investigators (Jansen, Naar, Faisal, Hilton, Wells, Hampshire, Butler, Haddadi, Skeldon)
Funding: Dementia Research Institute (DRI) - Medical Research Council (MRC), Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK

The vision for this centre is to use patient-centred technology to help people affected by dementia to live better and for longer in their own homes.”

Professor David Sharp

Head of the Care Research and Technology Centre

We need to develop new ways to help people live well with dementia. We have an ageing population, limited resources for home care and no immediate cures available. All too often patients are isolated and develop preventable problems leading to unnecessary hospital admissions. New technologies hold great promise for providing solutions. We will work to focus the best minds on developing new ways of caring for people with dementia through advanced technologies. Our goal is to bring together a diverse team of doctors, engineers and scientists who together can harness recent advances in artificial intelligence, engineering, robotics and sleep science to create novel technologies that will deliver the highest quality dementia care in the home by establishing a Healthy Home environment.

Our work will be guided at all stages by patients and their carers, focusing on issues that are most problematic. We will work to find new ways to keep people independent in their homes, improve general health and sleep, and reduce confusion and agitation. We will develop a range of unobtrusive devices that, when placed in the home, allow behaviour and health to be monitored. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, we will then be able to carefully monitor and understand an individual’s behaviour and predict when problems might arise. We will develop new ways to identify in their earliest stages medical complications that arise in the home. For example, new genetic testing of urine allows infections to be diagnosed early and then rapidly treated in the home. The Healthy Home will also monitor for other risks to well-being, for example, by reacting if a cooker is left on or quickly summoning aid if a person falls. We will work out how best to prompt patients to resolve problems, and also develop smart solutions that allow continuous interaction with patients.

Being centred on the needs of the patient and their carers, we will personalise our medical approach, allowing us to tailor care to an individual needs. By measuring real behaviour in the home, rather than clinical measures in the hospital, our work will provide a new way to assess dementia that should dramatically improve the assessment of new treatments. Funding a UK Dementia Research Institute Centre for Care and Technology that joins activities at Imperial and Surrey will allow us to rapidly develop new technologies to transform dementia care.

Our role within the Care Research & Technology (CR&T) Centre will be to develop new sensor technologies that are unobtrusive, ultra-wearable or embedded in the environment. These will be placed around the house or on a patient's body to track physiology and behaviour.