Ask Annie app developed to support home care workers

News / Anthony Vouliotis / July 29, 2021

 

Fig 1. Ask Annie is available on mobile devices and has been designed in collaboration with community care workers.

 

Dementia Australia have launched Ask Annie, an innovative mobile application designed to improve the quality of care of people living with dementia. The project was done in collaboration with Deakin University’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) through the ARC Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living, and was supported by Gandel Philanthropy.

The app offers self-paced learning modules to home support and community care workers to refresh skills and learn tips and techniques to provide better care to people living with dementia. “Annie,” a digital character, guides users through a range of scenarios, based on real life experience, to strengthen their care skills. 

Currently, around half a million Australians live with dementia and this is projected to increase to 1.1 million people by 2058. This highlights the urgent need for continued training and support for the workforce of carers to provide quality dementia care.

Professor Rajesh Vasa, Head of Translational Research at A2I2 and a Chief Investigator at the Hub, commented on the motivations behind the app’s development.

“Ask Annie prioritises learner motivation and engagement over content. This is achieved by leveraging ideas from Australian educational philosophies, in particular, constructive alignment theory.”

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said Ask Annie was designed in collaboration with community care workers. 

 “The app is an easy to use, convenient training tool, able to be purchased by provider organisations as a multi-licence package for their staff to access anywhere and anytime,” Ms McCabe said. 

“Once the team member signs up to the app, Annie is there to provide encouragement, tips and to offer ongoing training that is accessible whenever the care worker wants to schedule in a quick 10 or 15 minute check-in – across the country,” Ms McCabe said. 

For more information about this project, please visit Dementia Australia’s Centre for Dementia Learning.