Memory is one of our most precious goods has it gives us the ability to store, retain and recall information thus giving a meaning to our past and help us to envision our future, dreams and expectations. However, ageing decreases the capacity of remembering and the capacity to store new memories, thus affecting our life quality. These presented problems configure a social and human dilemma. With the presented work we intend to address some of these problems, through the use of the Memory Assistant concept in order to help its user to remember things and occurrences in a proactive manner. We will also address socialization and relaxation events that should be part of the user's life.
The life expectancy of the world population, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), is increasing and the birth rate of children is decreasing rapidly. The UNPF estimates that in a period of fifty years the European Population decreased 13%, increasing the age average to 48 years old. At the age of 50 the human beings begin to be affected by it, being the forgetfulness of more recent events, one of the most occurred symptoms.
In most cases the loss of memory is more likely to appear and will keep advancing in parallel with ageing and there is little to do in terms of regaining the memorizing capabilities, the most it can be done is exercising the brain through specific brain training exercises. There are three main stages of loss of memory: Cognitively Unimpaired, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Severe Cognitive Impairment (Dementia). Each stage requires different attention and focus suited to their conditionings. Additionally we should also consider the possible memory problems associated with diseases, especially chronic ones, that affects our ability to remember, meaning we can have younger people affected with this problem.
There is still no known way of reversing the human brain loss of information, so a possible solution may be the use of computational systems to store and retrieve all that data. As studies have been done in the area of human interaction and wellbeing, it is know that scheduling and storing, intelligently, user's activities makes communication easier with their peers and relatives, thus greatly improve the elderly self-esteem on their daily activities.
The main objective of this research is design an architecture that is applicable to the development a Memory Assisted environments based on the Ambient Intelligence paradigm. The architecture should propose several features capable of being executed is dynamic and distributed environments and facilitate the interaction between users and the environment.
The initial hypothesis consisted on demonstrate that this project would allow the development an intelligent scheduler, which interacts with the user through a device and will help the user to remember relevant information or events, at the same time be a social enabler.
The users that the project will be mainly focused ranges between the user with normal memory conditions to the slightly memory impaired, with the capacity of using new technologies.
To achieve this purpose several studies and analysis must be conducted, starting from the state of the art in different areas of interest, namely on e-Health, Collaborative Networks and Ambient Intelligence.
At the current time there are sparse project in the Memory Assistant area, the projects present in the area (and still active) have many different focus. Some dedicate to record what the user has done over the day (audio/video) others dedicate to save every little bit of information of the user. Only a few ones dedicate on the scheduling area and even they consider it a subgenre of the final product intended. Most relate a calendar to be a pinpoint that organizes tasks but consider more important the other functions, like sensor monitoring and oral interpretation.
A centralized scheduling system, from a health services provider, will be considered as major objective for optimizing resources.
It is our view that the task of scheduling should be the place to start and that nowadays is tremendously underrated. The problem, as in our presented perspective, has never been approached this way and constitutes a challenge to lay a new path in a still unknown area. With the intention to create a simple but powerful application that allows the user to get the help needed in the simplest way.