Projects  |    |  September 1, 2020

Ethical and social aspects of co-intelligent monitoring and assistance systems in dementia care

Project. The aim of EIDEC is to evaluate digital assistance technologies and to compare the social acceptance and moral evaluation of the applications between the user groups. The user groups include patients, family members and nursing staff. We want to develop empirically sound recommendations in the project. These should then support developers and researchers in their work. The recommendations can also be relevant for political decision-makers. They can be used when making decisions about the use of digital assistance technologies.

What we do
The advancing aging of our society and the so-called “care emergency” pose serious challenges to our care system. New, AI-based technologies seem to offer solutions for these challenges. They could improve the working conditions of professional carers, support caregiving relatives in their tasks and above all make a positive contribution to the quality of life of those affected. At the same time, the introduction and use of new technologies is viewed with skepticism. These technologies could also create new problems, particularly in the sensitive field of care and, to a greater extent, when working with people with dementia: To increase profitability, care positions could be cut, and those affected could be overwhelmed with the use of aids in many ways.

In order to shed light on the aspects only hinted at here as comprehensively as possible, two of the sub-projects are dedicated to the technical requirements and the involvement of various participants (affected persons, relatives, caregivers) in the development process. These two sub-projects deal with the ethical aspects of the development and use of new technologies in the field of dementia care. In doing so, they examine the existing attitudes towards them both among those affected and their relatives as well as among professional caregivers and experts from various areas who have to do with assistance systems. In addition, they deal with the ethical concepts of privacy and empowerment and ask what effects the new technologies could have on these concepts in care.

How is the project structured?

The joint project EIDEC links four content-related (two technical / two ethical) sub-projects at different locations that deal with attitudes to AI-based monitoring and assistance systems in dementia care as part of a qualitative interview study.

What is the background?

New digital assistance technologies have the potential to improve the care of dementia patients. These systems integrate artificial intelligence, semantics and human interpretation. EIDEC researches the ethical consequences and challenges of such systems for users and developers.

Who are the involved?

The University Medical Center Göttingen, the University of Oldenburg, the University of Rostock, the University Medical Center Rostock and the DZNE are involved in the EIDEC project.