Technologies for Brain Health and Dementia Prevention Workshop

**This workshop has now passed, however, if this is an area of research that you are interested in, please get in touch to join us at future events and be kept up to date on developments in the theme through our Special Interest Group (details to follow).**

Innovative technologies that support and enhance brain health are growing as fast as the changing needs of those with dementia. Scotland is a hub of technological innovation. We therefore have the knowledge, experience and expertise among us to leverage this wealth of innovation to support those affected by dementia, or are at risk of developing the condition.

For this reason, the SDRC and the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre (DHI) are organised the Technologies for Brain Health and Dementia Prevention workshop to bring together the communities involved in such innovation. 

Find out more about who will be presented at this workshop. 

Aims of the Workshop  


The aim of the workshop is twofold: 


  1. To provide a space for interaction wherein the relevant community can come together to explore synergies among ongoing initiatives in technologies for brain health
  2. To explore opportunities to set up Special Interest Groups (SIG) which can work collaboratively with the SDRC

Workshop Themes

Theme 1: Adaptive technologies, precision medicine and interventions

 This theme will encourage discussions around technologies that aim to adapt to the changing needs of those affected by neuro-progressive diseases. These hold potential for person-centred assessments and interventions. Such adaptive capabilities are envisaged to equip people are risk of dementia with more resilience to the course of this long disease processes. Are relevant theories from relevant fields thoroughly considered and incorporated?

Theme 2: Technologies to enhance brain health

The advent of VR/AR, Wearables/Sensors, Cognitive Prosthetics, Reminiscence Technologies, and other technologies is creating unprecedented opportunities to move assessments and interventions from the lab to the real world. Such technologies retain a great deal of control regarding how experiences can be directed and measured while achieving greater ecological validity. How well do they capture and incorporate relevant interdisciplinary knowledge?

Theme 3: Assistive technologies

There is a growing interest in technologies that can support people with disabilities to live safely and independently whether at home or in care facilities. We are witnessing a rapid growth of Ambient Assisted Living, Smart Environments, Living Labs, Tele-presence and Tele-care, Cognitive Robotics, just to mention some key examples. Are these meeting the ever-changing needs of those affected?

Theme 4: Co-design and co-production for brain health technologies

The Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy aims to encourage a paradigm shift whereby researchers and members of the public come together to become co-designers, co-producers and co-beneficiaries of research. This paradigm shift is urgently needed in the field of healthcare technologies. Can limited PPIE account for limited adherence and compliance, increased biases, and poor attitudes towards healthcare technologies?

Key Points & Questions for Discussion


  • Technology can be used for detection of early changes in the brain secondary to neurodegeneration. 
  • Are relevant theories from relevant fields thoroughly considered by and incorporated in novel technologies?
  • Can healthcare technologies meet the ever-changing needs of those affected by neuroprogressive diseases? 
  • Technology can be used to help track changes in the brain in response to interventions to improve brain health.
  • What does it take for wider Brain Computer Interface (BCI) adoption? 
  • Can Neurofeedback be an effective treatment for chronic pain in general? 
  • What other neurological conditions might benefit from BCI neuromodulation?
  • Technology can be used for identifying the presence or occurrence of risk factors for poor brain health.
  • How well do available technologies capture and incorporate relevant interdisciplinary knowledge? 
  • Is physical interaction or motivation the bigger contribution from the use of robots in stroke therapy?
  • Given known issues (navigation, self-invisibility, eyestrain, fatigue) with VR headsets, does their use really add value?
  • How can we follow up possible insights into brain disorders suggested by neural-net based modelling?
  • What does good/excellent co-design look like (in dementia and brain health)?
  • How can we best learn from working with citizens, not just in one project, but also over many years together?
  • Can limited PPIE account for limited adherence and compliance, increased biases, and poor attitudes towards healthcare technologies? 
  • What are the technological concepts involving robotic, autonomous, and interactive (RAIS) technology?
  • What is the potential value of healthcare technologies to support and enhance brain health, and why?
  • What are the key concerns and barriers to achieve the above potential?
  • How you envisage open ambient assisted living (OpenAAL) laboratory will help address healthcare challenges? 
  • How could we improve OpenAAL concepts, increase involvement of stakeholders, and promote collaboration and innovation in this sector?
  • How can modern technologies enhance ecological validity?
  • VR or AR, which would best suit older adults with cognitive impairments
  • What have we learned about use and impact of healthcare technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic and how we should use such knowledge?
  • What strategies should we follow to train the new generation of professionals who will support the deployment and implementation of technologies along the healthcare pathway?
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This workshop has been organised collaboratively with the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium (SDRC) and the Digitial Health & Care Innovation Centre (DHI)

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