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INDUCT project 1 is researching surveillance technology and empowerment

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Early Stage Researcher (ESR) Yvette Vermeer (pictured) explores what people with dementia and family caregivers need in surveillance technology and how using these products could impact them. Ms Vermeer, based at University College London, is part of the Interdisciplinary Network Using Current Technology in Dementia (INDUCT) project.

Previous research shows that surveillance technologies such as GPS products are increasingly used in dementia care. The market promotes products that increase safety, track people with dementia who “wander”, and support the caregiver.

Many discussions are about how surveillance invades privacy or how increasing safety is chosen over autonomy. However, surveillance products do not always support individual needs, are often unreliable, poorly designed, and do not aid with other behaviours. Yet these products are often seen as the empowering solution. Therefore, the project explores what people with dementia and family caregivers need in surveillance and how these products are designed and marketed.

With more information about surveillance and a raised awareness of needs, people can make informed choices. Also by giving people a say in this research they can start to make demands for designs. Therefore, this research wants to involve people with dementia and family caregivers not only as participants, but as advisers as well. Individuals will be asked about their needs and thoughts on various surveillance products. In addition, advisers are welcome to make recommendations about the research. For instance, on how to run focus groups with various individuals in three different European countries. Preparations have been made for gathering the first findings starting in June 2017. The research project is in collaboration with Alzheimer Europe.

Interested in more information or want to participate? Please email y.vermeer@ucl.ac.uk

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