How Virtual Reality can be used to detect the early stages of Dementia

Posted on September 6, 2017

(c) Sea Hero Quest

According to Alzheimer’s Research, a total of 47 million people around the world are living with dementia, a number that will only get bigger as the years pass. Early signs of dementia include memory problems, confusion and the inability to carry out daily tasks.

Michael Hornberger, a professor of applied dementia research at the University of East Anglia, and his colleague Hugo Spiers from the University College of London, the dementia research charity Alzheimer’s Research UK collaborated with German mobile carrier Deutsche Telekom to initiate the launch of a free Virtual Reality (VR) game Sea Hero Quest which assesses a user’s navigational ability. As other cognitive signs of dementia include disorientation, difficulty with coordination and motor functions, this game allows doctors and researchers to make use of the data gathered through this game to diagnose potential dementia patients and further dementia research.

With more than 3 million people around the world already playing Sea Hero Quest, the project continues to examine its collected data and make detecting dementia a little easier in years to come.

Words by Gloria Ang.