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Can SmartSocks™ help deliver care to people with dementia living in care homes?

Around 50% of people with dementia experience behavioural symptoms linked to unmanaged distress. Effective and safe management of these symptoms is critical to maintain the quality of life and overall care of people with dementia. The uptake of technological solutions to help deliver care to people with dementia is being encouraged through the Digitising Social Care Fund. Milbotix are a health tech start-up who have developed ‘SmartSocks™’, a new form of wearable technology. In this study, researchers at Brunel University London will assess the acceptability and feasibility of SmartSocks™ for delivering care to people with dementia in a care home environment.

We will ask 30 people living with dementia in care homes to wear the SmartSocks™ for up to four weeks. We will conduct a survey of care home staff to assess the acceptability of the SmartSocks™ so that we can ensure the socks are suitable for the care home environment. We will then carry out a focus group with care home staff to evaluate the integration of the SmartSocks™ into care planning so that we can determine how care homes use the socks alongside best practice in care. We will determine the concurrent validity of SmartSocks™ data with established measures of agitation and pain so that we can evaluate the potential of the socks to be used to deliver better care and used as objective outcome measures in clinical trials. Finally, we will estimate the cost of providing the socks and will assess if there are differences between the groups in resource use utilisation and health related quality of life data.

We hope that the SmartSocks™ will make it easier for carers to recognise agitation, distress and pain in people with dementia who have difficulty communicating their needs.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Byron Creese

Related Research Group(s)

brain scan

Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience - Fundamental and applied research into brain function using techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), eye-tracking, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), infrared thermography together with psychophysics and cognitive behavioural paradigms in health and disease.

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Project last modified 11/12/2023