Background: Alzheimer's Disease (AD) impairs the ability to carry out daily activities, reduces independence and quality of life and increases caregiver burden. Our understanding of functional decline has traditionally relied on reports by family and caregivers, which are subjective and vulnerable to recall bias. The Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable sensor technologies promise to provide objective, affordable, and reliable means for monitoring and understanding function. However, human factors for its acceptance are relatively unexplored. Objective: The Public Involvement (PI) activity presented in this paper aims to capture the preferences, priorities and concerns of people with AD and their caregivers for using monitoring wearables. Their feedback will drive device selection for clinical research, starting with the study of the RADAR-AD project. Method: The PI activity involved the Patient Advisory Board (PAB) of the RADAR-AD project, comprised of people with dementia across Europe and their caregivers (11 and 10, respectively). A set of four devices that optimally represent various combinations of aspects and features from the variety of currently available wearables (e.g., weight, size, comfort, battery life, screen types, water-resistance, and metrics) was presented and experienced hands-on. Afterwards, sets of cards were used to rate and rank devices and features and freely discuss preferences. Results: Overall, the PAB was willing to accept and incorporate devices into their daily lives. For the presented devices, the aspects most important to them included comfort, convenience and affordability. For devices in general, the features they prioritized were appearance/style, battery life and water resistance, followed by price, having an emergency button and a screen with metrics. The metrics valuable to them included activity levels and heart rate, followed by respiration rate, sleep quality and distance. Some concerns were the potential complexity, forgetting to charge the device, the potential stigma and data privacy. Conclusions: The PI activity explored the preferences, priorities and concerns of the PAB, a group of people with dementia and caregivers across Europe, regarding devices for monitoring function and decline, after a hands-on experience and explanation. They highlighted some expected aspects, metrics and features (e.g., comfort and convenience), but also some less expected (e.g., screen with metrics).
Frontiers in aging neuroscience
Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH-ITI), Information Technologies Institute, Thessaloniki, Greece.