Use Technology like the Internet and mobile for awareness/ support

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On this page:

Introduction

Technology can be leveraged to reach more persons across India and to spread dementia awareness, correct misinformation. Reliable information can be made easily accessible. Technology can also be used to support persons with dementia and family caregivers. One very attractive technology to use is the Internet, especially because Internet usage is increasing. Mobile apps on smartphones are also becoming more popular and can be tapped for spreading information and giving support.

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What using technology for awareness/ support requires, and how to contribute

Many persons get intimidated by the thought of using technology. They don’t know what is feasible and what isn’t. Therefore, they either expect too much or too little, and don’t have a realistic project scope or time-frame.

Technology, used effectively, can be a very powerful way of reaching out. It can be used for small projects as well as big projects. It can be used to supplement other awareness initiatives. For example, a presentation created with special effects may be included in an awareness talk. Or a video recorded using a camera can be edited on a computer to produce a movie that is included in a presentation. Or an interview may be recorded using Skype and then projected to an audience. Technology can also be used for larger projects, such as having an online platform or mobile-app environment for online training or for support groups or counselling sessions by experts, etc.

Technology keeps evolving and offering new possibilities, so this is a rapidly changing set of points. Some broad points (not a complete list):

  • Person with sufficient overview of the dementia domain, potential users, and technology to decide on content scope and approach (Necessary)
  • Content creators, editors, bloggers, editors, graphic artists, etc., to create and edit content (text, graphic, AV) (Necessary)
  • Technical services and basic skills required to disseminate content on the web or through mobiles (such as web-programming skills, mobile app developers, hosting service providers to host, etc.) (Necessary)
  • Technical experts who can create/ productionize the content in user-friendly ways on suitable technical platforms (Necessary)
  • Team for ongoing maintenance for the work being done, and for upgrading periodically to match and exploit technological trends (Necessary)
  • Persons who can interface between experts and the technical team (often, there are communication gaps) (desirable)
  • Funds for the above (fees for technical work, material preparation and production costs, costs for resources/ services used) (Necessary)
  • Suitable systems to gather data for analysis/ research to assess reach/ effectiveness of the program (nice to have; may also be useful to get funding)

Since technology is heavily under-utilized, this is a good area to consider if you understand technology. You can take on some work for a dementia organization, or propose a project to them. For example, you can develop an app or an online site or forum to meet a need. Or you can help productionize some content better by using appropriate software tools. You can interface between dementia professionals and technology service providers to reduce the communication gap. You can also help by discussing technical feasibility of some idea and suggesting various approaches to meet an implicit need, even if the dementia experts had not thought of using a technological approach/ solution.

(A general discussion on how potential contributors can select projects and contribute can be seen at: Action Areas to Contribute to, and Possible Approaches )

The following presentation provides an overview of this possible area of contribution. If the player does not load below, you can also view the presentation directly on Slideshare: click here to view it on Slideshare.

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Additional note for some India-specific aspects

  • Many NGOs and professional bodies in India underestimate the potential of technology, or lack the managerial resources to decide what they can do and to locate skilled technical service providers who are reliable and affordable and prompt to do the work. As a result, the potential of technology is not exploited. Or their websites remain hopelessly outdated and may even mislead. Planning the use of technology as a proper project is recommended.

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Resources and references

Suggested resources are in the presentation embedded above.

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Pages in this section:

Resources: If you want to help caregivers/ spread dementia awareness

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