Use of technology in dementia care - EJ Insight



Use of technology in dementia care

As the global population continues ageing, there are more and more people suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD, or dementia). According to an Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) report in 2019, it is estimated that over 50 million people worldwide have dementia, and every 3 seconds, someone in the world develops dementia . Therefore, it is expected to surge to 150 million people by 2050.

According to the Hospital Authority in 2017, the prevalence rates of dementia in Hong Kong is estimated to be at 5%-8% among people aged over 65, and at 20%-30% among those aged over 80. Inferring from this, as many as 100,000 people are suffering from dementia in Hong Kong, and the number is increasing year-on-year. Another academic study published in 2012 estimated that around 333,000 would be suffering from dementia by 2039 in the city.

So far, there is no cure for the disease. The medical profession generally believes that early diagnosis and treatment can defer worsening of it. Having said that, it is difficult to detect early symptoms of dementia, which often delays treatment. A recent study by CUHK's Faculty of Medicine confirmed that brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can detect early cognitive impairment diseases. The study showed that sensitivity in the detection of mild AD was 92%, which was 25% higher as compared with visual inspection.

People with dementia will gradually lose their cognitive ability. Their need of being taken care of in daily life, which adds psychological pressure to the caregivers. One of the worst nigh