The world of online and mobile gaming has reached the medical research community. Centennial elderly care professionals recently heard about a new mobile phone app designed by Glitchers, a British company, and distributed by Deutsche Telekom, based in Germany, designed to help researchers pinpoint the effects of dementia on the elderly. The game was developed in cooperation with the University of East Anglia and University College of London.
The game is called Sea Hero Quest and is available as a free download on Google Play. In the game, the user is required to navigate through seas, rivers, and marshes in search of sea creatures. In addition, the game provides interactive questions and answers to test user orientation. The object of the game is to rediscover a father’s lost memories.
According to game developers, one of the first cognitive skills a person with dementia loses is navigation. Early signs of dementia usually include some type of disorientation, with seniors often becoming lost during a walk or drive. Sea Hero Quest was designed to help researchers understand how and when these skills are lost.
Playing data is collected anonymously unless the user consents otherwise. The collected data is then analyzed by researchers. Sea Hero Quest is designed to test five separate navigational skills currently used in experiments by dementia researchers:
- Landmark recognition
- Complex situation problem solving
- Sense of direction
- Rote learning
More than 500,000 downloads have been made to date, more than 5 times the original goal of 100,000 users, and Google Play has recorded more than 30,000 5-star reviews.
According to researcher Dr. Hugo Spiers, this method of collecting data is the first of its kind in the field of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease research. Using conventional methods, such as personal interviews and one-on-one or group therapy, it would take in excess of five decades to collect this kind of data.
While life will undoubtedly change after a dementia diagnosis, there is no reason quality of life has to. Reach out to Home Care Assistance and find out about our trusted Centennial dementia care that helps seniors maintain health, wellness, and safety in the comfort of home. All of our caregivers are also trained in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method that helps seniors retain mental acuity and stave off memory impairment. Call a friendly Care Manager at 303.957.3100 and request a free consultation to learn more.