March 4, 2021

Help Alzheimer's patients with TV, an award-winning medical project

Alzheimer's patients have a new ally thanks to a system that aims to improve their quality of life with television and that has been recognized by the European Union as the project of the month, within the "Active Assisted Living Program (AAL)".

The system, which is part of a research project coordinated by the Regional Hospital of Malaga, is already being used in about twenty homes, after a testing phase that began in September last year and in which a hundred patients participated Malaga people

The leader of the initiative and head of the Mental Health research group of the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (IBIMA), Fermín Mayoral, has explained to Efe that the system, which is connected to television, allows healthcare professionals to make a Follow-up of patients who are in the initial stages of dementia.

The device works through a decoder, which for the patient translates into another television channel through which you can access, among other functions, memory games of different levels a calendar in which you are reminded of Medical appointments and the time to take the medication.

In addition, it includes an alert system through notifications that appear on the screen regardless of the channel that the patient is currently viewing.

A "very useful" functionality according to Mayoral, as it allows doctors to also introduce other types of reminders for older people such as the importance of drinking water coinciding with the heat waves of the summer.

"The innovation of the program is that it is a system that we control – in reference to doctors -, with contents that we edit and we also build," said the psychiatrist, who explained, in addition, that another of the applications of device offers advice on how they should get up or small tables of physical exercise.

The project, called "TV-AssistDem", also conforms to the recommendations of doctors, who advise to start treatments precisely in the early stages of the disease, which is when you have to stimulate the person cognitively to slow down their progress.

The initiative, led by Spain through the Regional Hospital of Malaga, is also developed in Italy, Switzerland, Romania, and has earned the recognition of the European Union as a project of the month of July "by enabling a more independent life for patients that as a result of dementia depend on their relatives and caregivers. "

According to Mayoral, private medical insurance and even the Andalusian Health System (SAS) have already been interested in the service and, as they stand out from the AAL program, its use could reduce the need for emergency medical assistance, reduce the costs of health systems and increase their sustainability in the face of the aging of the European population.

All a technological commitment put at the service of the health system to make a barrier to a disease that unfortunately not only drags the patient but also those who accompany him on the road.

. (tagsToTranslate) Help (t) patients (t) alzheimer (t) TV (t) project

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