iWander: An Android Application for Dementia Patients

Presented in Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2010 Annual International Conference of the IEEE , pp.3875-3878



Non-pharmacological management of dementia puts
a burden on those who are taking care of a patient that suffer
from this chronic condition. Caregivers frequently need to assist
their patients with activities of daily living. However, they are also
encouraged to promote functional independence. With the use of
a discrete monitoring device, functional independence is increased
among dementia patients while decreasing the stress put on
caregivers. This paper describes a tool which improves the quality
of treatment for dementia patients using mobile applications. Our
application, iWander, runs on several Android based devices with
GPS and communication capabilities. This allows for caregivers
to cost effectively monitor their patients remotely. The data
cnnollected from the device is evaluated using Bayesian network
techniques which estimate the probability of wandering behavior.
Upon evaluation several courses of action can be taken based on
the situation’s severity, dynamic settings and probability. These
actions include issuing audible prompts to the patient, offering
directions to navigate them home, sending notifications to t he
caregiver containing the location of the patient, establishing a line
of communication between the patient-caregiver and performing
a party call between the caregiver-patient and patient’s local
911. As patients use this monitoring system more, it will better
learn and identify normal behavioral patterns which increases
the accuracy of the Bayesian network for all patients. Normal
behavior classifications are also used to alert the caregive r or
help patients navigate home if they begin to wander while driving
allowing for functional independence.

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Keywords: AndroidSubMenu, assistive technology, mobile monitoring