Helping people with mild dementia to navigate their day


Which one of our four interest areas do you think is the most important to improve the life of a person suffering dementia?
Help he/she to remember
Help on maintaining social contacts
Help on performing daily life activities
Enhance their feeling of safety
Total votes: 73

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University of Ulster


The Faculty of Computing and Engineering in the University of Ulster has a reputation for internationally recognized research, with particular expertise in the areas of Pervasive Healthcare, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligent Interfaces, Smart Homes research, Medical Informatics and the development of Internet and mobile-based care networks.

Ulster is carrying out research in Combining Prior Domain Knowledge and Data Mining for biomedical Decision Support (Higher Education Authority, Ireland). Other funded projects include:  the BRAIN project (EU-IST-FP7-STRP- which aims to develop BCIs into practical assistive tools to enhance inclusion for users with impaired communication due to illness and injury (e.g., cerebral Palsy, brain and spinal cord injury, and stroke); [email protected] where the goal is to provide products and services making it possible for elderly people to feel safer and live a more active and healthy life (Northern Peripheries Programme); NETWELL (INTERREG IIIA, 2007-2009), which aims to develop an all-island centre of excellence for ‘models for ageing-in-place’ based on the appropriate exploitation of emerging ICT technologies; Nestling Technology Initiative (2007-2011) for the promotion of community-orientated models for independent living and ageing in place; CASCADAS (CEC-IST-FP6-IP-FET) Component-ware for Autonomic, Situation-aware Communications And Dynamically Adaptable Services; and SMART2 (RCUK, 2007-2011), which promotes a technical solution to support self management of chronic disease conditions (Stroke, chronic pain and coronary heart disease).

Innovation is increasingly becoming a collaborative process, moving beyond the boundaries of single enterprises with users playing an increasing role. In October 2007, Ulster was accepted by the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) as a Living Lab providing a platform for innovation capabilities for user driven co-creative innovation processes to SMEs and international corporations, public sector agencies, academic institutions and individual citizens.

As part of this process Ulster will provide access to a dedicated smart environment within the proposed project. This facility, which has been specifically custom-built to support ongoing work in Pervasive Healthcare in Smart Homes, provides two lab-based simulated living environments (kitchen and living area) each 17m2. These rooms have been designed to support the deployment of ongoing research work and can be used to demonstrate the developments within the project in an environment which is beyond a laboratory based setting and closer to actual living conditions.

The Faculty hosted the European Society for Engineering and Medicine (ESEM) Conference (April 2001) and the 2nd International Workshop on Personal Health Management Systems in December 2004. In 2006 the Faculty hosted the 4th International Conference on Smart homes and health Telematics (ICOST2006).

The research roadmap for the multidisciplinary group involved in COGKNOW includes significant efforts in context analysis, general artificial intelligence techniques, behavioural analysis and development of Internet and mobile based care networks. The core competencies of research contributing to social and economic benefits that reflect staff interests include fundamental work in information engineering, context-aware technologies, artificial intelligence, medical informatics, data mining, smart homes research, ubiquitous computing, web mining, personalisation technologies, pervasive computing, and information retrieval.

Key Personnel:

  • Dr Chris Nugent;
  • Dr Maurice Mulvenna;
  • Suzanne Martin;
  • Jonathan Wallace;
  • Dr Shirley Davey;
  • Professor Michael McTear.

Ulster is the Technical Coordinator within the project. This involves liaising with those responsible for the development of the user requirements and assisting with their translation into a technical specification. Ulster is responsible for the coordination of the technical WPs (in conjunction with the WP leaders) for the development of the mobile device and also the ICT-based infrastructure developed to facilitate the care services. In particular, Ulster engages in the development of the mobile-based services and respective multi-modal interfaces. From the ICT infrastructure perspective, Ulster is involved in the development of the stakeholder interfaces and the development of context-aware services. In addition to the aforementioned technical responsibilities, Ulster is the main technical contact point during the evaluation periods.

COGKNOW is funded by the European Comission within the IST-2005/2006-2.5.11 (Unit H3 - eInclusion) Contract #034025

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