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Evaluation of an Automated Cognitive Assessment System on Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Performance in a Home Environment

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The intention of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an automated cognitive assessment in comparison with a traditional clinician lead cognitive assessment procedure on Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) performance in a home environment.

Automated cognitive assessment involves collecting data from a variety of sensing sources (multi-modal), to which we can apply a range of techniques with the intention of enabling: (i) activity recognition, i.e., development of intelligent systems that can autonomously determine activities of a human at home; (ii) assessment and scoring of an assessment of ADL’s. This scoring will be evaluated with an in-person assessor score (iii) The in-person assessor score will also be evaluated with a remote assessor score, using a remote telepresence robotic platform. This entails the video feed of the telepresence robot being reviewed by the remote assessor to conduct the same examination as that done in person. This comparison will allow us to evaluate the feasibility of performing the assessment remotely, using a tele-presence robot.

The role of participants in this study is to execute a prescribed list of activities (ADLs). For example, they will be asked to make a cup of tea in a specific way. So that corresponding sensor information and analysed video can be used classify activities conducted and score performance of these activities. The data can then be used as outlined above.

What will happen to me if I take part?

Upon arrival, you will be briefed with information that will help you in exercising your role in the study. Much of this information is also contained in this document, for your reference.

During your session, you will be introduced to the testbed facilities, which seek to mimic a modern one-bedroom smart apartment. You will also be briefed on a telepresence platform. You will complete a verbal assessment, called the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT). The results of this will be used to initialise the automated assessment system. The HVLT will assess your memory for a list of words. Although this test is often used in clinical settings, within the context of our study it does not hold diagnostic value. That is, we will not be able to tell whether your abilities are atypical based on the outcomes from this test. If you feel concerned about your mental well-being after completing this test, we recommend contacting your GP for advice.

You will then be provided with a list of activities which you will be expected to complete during your time in the testbed. You will then complete the list of activities to the best of their ability as an assessor will take note of the activities completed and assess the performance of these activities.

Data will be collected from around the environment, from the following sources:

Once you have completed all of the prescribed activities, or have opted to end the session, the data from your session will be immediately collated and stored in a local database of participant data for later analysis.

If you wish to take part, please contact the organisers of the study listed on this page.

Who can take part?

We are recruiting adults over the age of 18.

Note that the study will involve performing activities in a home environment that has not been modified for those with specific access requirements.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part is entirely voluntary. You may choose not to take part or subsequently cease participation at any time. We will ask you to sign a consent form to show you agreed to take part. You may exercise your right to withdraw at any time by informing a member of the research team.

What do participants get for taking part in this study?

Provided you are not directly involved in the research (i.e. not a member of CARE Group), you will receive a £20 Amazon voucher for your participation in this study. In electing to participate, your time and effort will contribute to the research effort in improving activity recognition and assistive robotic systems.

Where and when will the study take place?

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

Basic demographic information (gender, age, ethnicity and handedness) will be collected prior to the commencement of the assessments. Each participant will be given a code known only to the researcher and supervisor. Your demographic information will be seen only by members of the research team.

You can ask for your participant data (i.e. name and demographic information) to be deleted at any time by emailing or contacting one of the people listed above.

What will happen if I don’t carry on with the study?

If you withdraw from the study all the information and data collected from you, to date, will be destroyed and your name removed from all the study files.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The results will be reviewed by the researchers and their supervisor and will be used to disseminate the results of the project. Subsequently, written material and datasets associated with the project may proceed to scientific publication in specialist scientific journals. Datasets collected may be made available online, via the university website and/or those of the third-party scientific publications. Additionally, this study is part of a PhD project and results of the study will be included in the PhD thesis.

Who is organising or sponsoring the research?

The research is organised by persons academically affiliated with Heriot-Watt University. Members of the research team are supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Interested in taking part?

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How can I take part?

Please get in touch with the researchers running the study:

Who has reviewed the study?

This research has been reviewed by the Ethics Committee in the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, project number 3104.

Privacy Notice

If you would like to find out more about what Heriot-Watt University (the data controller) does with your personal data and your rights under privacy law, please read our information for participants in academic research projects, or contact our Data Protection Officer, by post at Data Protection Officer, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, EH14 4AS, or by email at