Radio Me is a new project from a broad group of academic, healthcare and media leaders. It hopes to help dementia sufferers better regulate their day without full-time care,  using a mix of existing technologies and new programming. 

Special artificial intelligence software is planned to insert important reminders and guidance into regular broadcasts on patients’ radios, while a commercially-available “bio-bracelet” keeps track of their physical symptoms and communicates with the radio software, highlighting certain announcements or changing an agitating song. An electronic diary completed by users and their carers will also be a key contributor to the project’s success. Radio is thought to be a particularly popular form of media among many of those afflicted with dementia.

The project is clinically-led by the Centre of Dementia Studies at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). It is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and a number of commercial partners, who have together raised £2.43m. Over 50 months, the project will be developed then trialled among people with dementia in Cambridgeshire and Sussex. Radio Me is led overall by the University of Plymouth’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR) with assistance from others. 

Sube Banerjee, Professor of Dementia at BSMS, one of the researchers who helped developed the project and the lead of the Radio Me Sussex team said: “Dementia is the great health and social care challenge of the 21st century. This project is a fantastic example of the potential for interdisciplinary working, bringing together experts in science and technology with those with clinical expertise and with people with dementia themselves, to create seamless interventions that enable people to live well with dementia.”

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