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Tablet Computers: Technology Helpful In Managing Agitation In Dementia Patients

Update Date: Jan 09, 2017 09:07 PM EST

There has been an increase of modern technology that seeks to improve medical care given to patients. A recent study suggests that the use of tablet computers is safe and potentially effective in managing agitation in dementia patients.

Dr. Ipsit Vahia, Director of Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services at McLean Hospital, led the study that saw the use of tablet computers among patients suffering from dementia. According to the study, the use of tablet computers as a non-drug alternative to manage agitations in dementia patients appear to be not only feasible but also safe. The tablet computer besides used to manage agitations can also be used in the various therapy dementia patients go through.

The study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry saw the use of the tablet computers among dementia patients. The paper shows that dementia patients, under careful supervision and guidance from their respective clinicians and caregivers, showed 100 percent engagement with the devices.

The use of tablet computers by a dementia patient also saw significant effectiveness in reducing symptoms of agitations particularly but not limited to patients suffering from a milder form of dementia. All patients suffering from dementia regardless of severity was able to safely use the tablet devices.

In addition to managing agitations in dementia patients, the use of tablets, particularly the apps installed in the tablet helped in the therapy of the patients. Various studies have already proven that art and music therapy are effective in reducing symptoms of dementia without medication.

By loading the tablets with various apps, the dementia patients' therapy can readily switch between music and art. By having the tablet, no added materials and aids were needed to start the therapies of the patients. In the study conducted, 70 free apps downloaded from the App Store for the use of the patients under the supervision of their respective medical support team.

Dr. Vahia sees the possibility of future studies focusing on the correlation between the use of the tablet computers and the effectivity of managing symptoms of dementia. The doctor along with the rest of the researchers hopes that with more data regarding the effectiveness of the use of tablet devices in dementia patients, more medical institutions will integrate the use of modern technology for the care and welfare of their patients. With the increase of data, the researchers also hope that more developers will be able to design apps that target dementia patients.

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