Optimizing NIA’s Eureka Prize Competition Topic

Bridging gulfs between tech and demented minds.

People often experience elusive communication in a way with patients’ dementia.


To address the difficulties in understanding people with dementia speaking, through the communication device (e.g., similar to the device that Stephen Hawking used or supercomputer or iPhone Siri) will allow clearer judgment to understand the needs of patients with dementia.


This approach is innovative because the device can 1) prolong the period of the clearer communication and 2) increase the independence and dignity of the person with dementia.


Wernicke's speech area, which is the part of the cerebral cortex linking speech, is important to enunciate the language. To implement the device linking with Wernicke's speech area, a collaboration between technology developers (e.g., Apple and Google) and physicians would be the first step to make this device a reality. Moreover, the accuracy of the devices’ interpretation results and communication strategies would require rigorous testing and reliability.


First, this idea may not apply to late-stage dementia patients to accurately detect or make inferences about patients’ thoughts. Second, developing and purchasing the device can be financially limiting for families and stakeholders.



13 votes
Idea No. 335