Wijnand IJsselsteijn, Ans Tummers and Rens Brankaert win IE&IS Valorization Prize 2022
For their pioneer role in researching warm technology for people with dementia
In the Expertise Centre Dementia & Technology Wijnand IJsselsteijn, Ans Tummers-Heemels and Rens Brankaert introduce a novel approach called ‘Warm Technology’. It is a user-friendly, non-stigmatizing technology aimed at what people with dementia can still do. 13 December their research was awarded with the IE&IS Valorization Prize 2022.
An example of a new technology design is the interactive music pillow VITA for which custom interactive fabric sensors where developed. Also existing technology is used in for example the Homing Compass, in which off-the-shelf GPS technology was used to design a simplified user interface that is usable and recognizable by people with dementia.
The jury was impressed by the innovativeness and especially by the relevance for society of the research. For the time being it is not expected that dementia can be cured, while the number of patients will increase sharply. Research into the possibilities of developing warm technology for people with dementia, and its implementation, is therefore extremely valuable.
The jury is enthusiastic about the person-centered perspective on inclusion resulting from the warm and inspiring weekly Wednesday afternoon sessions where direct interactions between the researchers and seniors with dementia and their children take place. Fun social activities (e.g., cooking, make-up sessions, singing, dancing, playing games) are combined with low threshold technology explorations. Furthermore a systematic collaboration has been established with a variety of care organizations, end-user representation organizations and relevant research institutes in health care.