Testing new apps that connect people with dementia and researchers

At Alzheimer’s Research UK we’re always looking for ways to help people get involved with dementia research. That’s why we’re supporting Dementia Citizens, a new initiative from innovation foundation Nesta and its partners Bangor University and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Today, Dementia Citizens is launching two new apps designed to connect people with dementia and their carers with researchers. The apps – called Book of You and Playlist for Life – provide a platform for people with dementia and their carers to take part in activities together, such as listening to songs which trigger memories and creating a digital photo story book full of familiar people and places. They’ll also have the chance to answer surveys about their wellbeing.

Not only will the apps help to bring people together, they’ll also contribute to dementia research. Specialist researchers will be able to use the surveys and the everyday data produced by the activities to spot patterns, understand care interventions, produce evidence-based recommendations to address key issues in care and increase understanding of the condition.

Right now the apps are in the pilot stage, and Dementia Citizens is looking for 500 people to test them over the next three months, helping to develop the technology and improve the user experience for people affected by dementia. They’re looking for people who have dementia or care for someone with dementia, and who use iOS smartphones and tablets, (iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch). If that sounds like you and you’d like to get involved, you can find out more and sign up to the apps at

If you don’t fit the criteria, or if this doesn’t sound like the right project for you, don’t worry – there are plenty of other ways you can get involved in dementia research. If gaming apps are more your thing, you could try playing Sea Hero Quest, a brilliant game we helped to create that has already provided scientists with the equivalent of over 700 decades’ worth of dementia research data. Or, if you’re interested in taking part in research studies in your area, you can sign up to Join Dementia Research. This service allows you to register your interest in becoming a research participant, and means that researchers can get in touch with you when there are studies you might be interested in joining.

Whichever option you choose you’ll be playing a vital role in making breakthroughs possible!

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Emily Cook