Guest post: Transforming dementia care through technology

Maree McCabe AM, CEO, Dementia Australia  

Dementia Australia has released a digital story, ‘Cutting Edge Technology Applications; Improving the experience of dementia for everyone’, showcasing over a decade of our innovative tools. The digital story captures the history and the impact of Dementia Australia’s ground-breaking use of virtual reality, apps and artificial intelligence in transforming dementia care, increasing understanding and raising awareness about dementia. 

Through this story, we acknowledge the visionary philanthropic, government and donor supporters who have made our technology offerings possible, and our team and collaborators who have led the developments from concept to reality. ‘Cutting Edge Technology Applications’ celebrates the use of technology changing and improving the support, care practice, knowledge and awareness for all people impacted by dementia. It highlights each step in our audacious tech journey; harnessing the power of gaming technologies and other high-tech tools to transform dementia understanding and care. 

It is exciting to release this digital story as the latest addition to our technology suite, BrainTrack app, has exceeded more than 34,000 downloads since its launch in October 2022.  

BrainTrack is a free app and has been developed as a tool for users to learn about brain health and track cognition over time through a series of fun, travel-themed games. Users are prompted to log in every month, and if they have concerns they can generate a report of results which can be shared with their GP to use as a conversation starter. The 34,000 downloads, we hope are 34,000 people who are now learning about being brain healthy, modifiable risk factors of dementia and cognitive decline, and if they have concerns, reaching out early to access support and intervention. In 2023, it is estimated more than 400,000 people are living with all forms of dementia, which is projected to increase to more than 800,000 by 2058 – and we know a diagnosis of dementia takes an average of three years. This is why it is so important that people are learning about these factors and reaching out early, and is what makes BrainTrack such a valuable and necessary tool.  

Since first setting out to create change through the use of immersive technology, we had strong conviction that if we could simulate the experience of what it’s like to have dementia, we could lead transformation and change people’s attitudes, behaviour and practice, improving the quality of life and care for people with dementia. Dementia Australia’s technology offerings have since brought dementia to life for thousands of Australians. Professional and family carers share with us how profound it is to enter the world of a person with dementia. And we know from formal evaluations the power of this style of training compared to traditional ‘chalk and talk’. Through this education, people develop insight and empathy by experiencing first-hand the symptoms and impacts of dementia, ultimately enhancing their care approach and ensuring the person living with dementia is treated with respect and dignity. 

Other multi-award-winning projects showcased in our digital story include EDIE (Educational Dementia Immersive Experience); the virtual reality experience, Talk with Ted; an artificial intelligence-powered avatar to help professional carers practice their communication skills, and Ask Annie, which delivers micro-lessons to care workers through the convenience of an app with an anytime, anywhere approach.   

We have a range of tools and supports on offer to help all people impacted by dementia and I strongly encourage everyone to download our new ‘Cutting edge technology applications’ to find out more. It is available for free, please visit  


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