Dementia is the most widespread form of neurodegenerative disorder and is associated with an immense societal and personal cost. Prevalence of this disorder is projected to triple worldwide by 2050 leading to an urgent need to make advances in the efficiency of both its care and therapy research. Digital technologies are a rapidly advancing field that provide a previously unavailable opportunity to alleviate challenges faced by clinicians and researchers working in this area. This clinical review aimed to summarise currently available evidence on digital technologies that can be used to monitor cognition. We identified a range of pervasive digital systems, such as smartphones, smartwatches and smart homes, to assess and assist elderly demented, prodromal and preclinical populations. Generally, the studies reported good level of agreement between the digital measures and the constructs they aimed to measure. However, most of the systems are still only in the initial stages of development with limited data on acceptability in patients. Although it is clear that the use of digital technology to monitor and support the cognitive domains affected by dementia is a promising area of development, additional research validating the efficacy, utility and cost-effectiveness of these systems in patient populations is needed.
- old age psychiatry
- information technology
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