Advanced Medical Electronics Corporation and our partners propose to develop a Socially-Assistive Robot (SAR) system for persons with dementia (PWD),(mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, or other dementias), who are living in assisted living facilities. The proposed system uses Augmented Intelligence (AI) to communicate with the PWD in natural language. The system's goals are three-fold. First, the system helps PWD transition from living in their homes to ALFs by fostering relationships and conveying schedules. Second, the system enables PWD to age in place by addressing the challenges that often lead to an escalation of care (i.e., nursing homes). Third, the system engages PWD via activities such as storytelling and simple games. We will integrate the proposed SAR system with current assistive technology, which is based on the evidence from tested, personalized psychosocial approaches to deliver non-drug intervention to improve everyday behavior, function, and quality of life in PWD. A strong multi-disciplinary team of engineers, academic experts in SAR and PWD, and a commercialization partner has been assembled to achieve these goals.
Alzheimer's disease and related dementias is one of the costliest chronic diseases affecting an estimated 5.3 million Americans at a cost of $236 billion. Social assistive robots can be used to lessen levels of depression, loneliness, grief, fear, and frustration as dementia progresses improving mental health and quality of life. In addition to improved quality of life, persons with dementia may be able to extend the amount of time in assisted living before being forced to a much costlier higher level of care such as a nursing home.