Google Street View to help Alzheimer’s patients

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Lars Jonsson, diagnosed with dementia, was one of the first patients to try the system.

Proof that the new technologies are not only for the younger ones, if you do not know BikeAround, this is a system that uses Google Street View to help seniors with dementia to revisit their memories.

It is always advised that people with dementia perform physical activities in order to stimulate physical and mental health, but due to the problems of memory and insight that dementia brings, it is not always easy to follow all these recommendations.

So, given the problems and thinking about these difficulties, the Health Technology Center of Halland in Sweden has developed an equipment capable of stimulating not only the muscles but also the brains of patients with dementia whose most common form is Alzheimer’s, in a safe way.

BikeAround combines a stationary bike with Google Street View projected onto a large screen, allowing patients to take a virtual tour of their memories, allowing them to cycle in a certain place they have visited in the past.

Lars Jonsson, 75, diagnosed with dementia, was one of the first to try the system, at the suggestion of his wife, decided to visit the city and the church where he had been married 35 years ago. Emotion and all happiness were visible on his face.

Anne-Christine Hertz of the Health Technology Center of Halland explained that our strongest memories are inexorably linked to our location. So, we often try to remind ourselves of where we were at some important event. What was my location when it happened on September 11, or in the case of previous generations, on April 25, for example.

Scientists believe that this type of association potentiates the production of dopamine, a stimulator of the nervous system, and has the ability to positively affect memory management in a deeper way.

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