Thursday, 8 June 2017

Professor Wendy Moyle from Menzies Health Institute (Queensland)joins June CATCH Networking Lunch as guest speaker

The wider CATCH network came out in force last week to hear from guest speaker, Professor Wendy Moyle with her talk entitled “Companion Robots: Are they Effective in Care of People with Dementia?”

Professor Moyle who is Program Director in the Menzies Health Institute Queensland based at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia discussed her research in the field of dementia and began her presentation by taking the room through the Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia.

Wendy has been using Paro, an interactive robot which takes the shape of a seal, in her research, empowering people who may have communication impairments with opportunities to enhance their skills with others.

Professor Moyle is interested in whether people will respond to a robot or not and has discovered that robots don’t need to look like a person for people to readily connect to them. Her study included more than 400 participants and showed some, but not a huge effect in helping people living with dementia. Through her work with Paro, Wendy has also found that the seal is effective when working with people in the early to mid-stages of dementia. Her call to researchers is to develop new technologies together with health professionals so they are fit for purpose. There is also a demand for multi-purpose technologies that grow with the needs of the patient. Such an adaptive technology could be sold at a more affordable price with add-ons as optional extras.

Wendy spent some time in the CATCH Home Lab as part of her visit to the centre and noted its less clinical and more natural feel, giving a nod to her own psychology lab with a one way screen back in Brisbane.

CATCH Researcher, Dr Sarah Kate Smith shared news about the exciting Dementia Research Sheffield - a new online web presence that brings together those people at the University of Sheffield working in the field of dementia research. This venture will create a platform to increase the visibility of dementia research at the University of Sheffield enabling other academics, health professionals, services and industry to identify potential collaborations in the city. If you would like to get involved with the group or have any questions, please contact Sarah Kate Smith.

The next CATCH Networking lunch will take place on Friday 21st July from 12.15 - 14.00 in The Diamond (Workroom 3) at the University of Sheffield. We’re delighted to welcome our guest speaker, Steven Haigh, Executive Director of Primary Care Sheffield, a city wide GP Federation, who will be giving his talk entitled: Ageing in Sheffield: The Challenges.

To book your place, please contact Laura Murray.

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