In October 2021, Fujitsu proudly partnered with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (The ASI) as its primary charity partner. As a leading global technology company, the Fujitsu team eagerly shared their technical skills with the ASI. Together, they embarked on a Digital Inclusion project to empower people living with Dementia through technology.
In March 2020, The ASI’s day care centres closed nationwide due to Covid-19 and the charity began distributing paper activity packs to keep their service users entertained and stimulate the brain to slow down the onset of Dementia.
The ASI presented Fujitsu with an idea to create a platform where the activity packs could be accessed online independently by people living with dementia and their carers. Fujitsu recognised the value in this and invited several stakeholders from The ASI to participate in Co-Creation Innovation sessions using Fujitsu Human Centric technology.
To better understand the end-user, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland facilitated consultation with the Irish Dementia Working Group (IDWG) and Dementia Carers Campaign Network (DCCN) – groups that advocate for better services, supports and policies for those impacted by Dementia. This consultation was invaluable as it enabled Fujitsu to build a concept with them in mind – the Virtual Dementia Hub (VDH).
Fujitsu CEO Tony O’Malley commented “Fujitsu is proud to have been involved in the co-creation of the Virtual Dementia Hub. We recognise the importance of using our human centric technology to tackle real life problems and give back to the community. The Virtual Dementia Hub will leave a lasting legacy of our partnership with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, which carries out brilliant work across Ireland.”
Alzheimer Society CEO, Andy Heffernan said: “The ASI is hugely appreciative of the support provided by Fujitsu during our time as their charity partner. We’d like to thank the team at Fujitsu for their expertise and time in developing the Virtual Dementia Hub. I’d also like to thank our staff and volunteers for their consultation and work in the implementation of the VDH. The VDH is an innovative and forward-thinking project that will greatly enrich the lives of people living with Dementia and their Carers.”
Máire Anne Doyle, Member of the DCCN and Consultant on the VDH, says: “This project offers so much to many. I would say there is something in there for all, whether one has a cognitive issue. As mentioned above, the sense of empowerment and being in the moment together or in content quiet moments alone is immense. It also brings others together, other carers and those living with Dementia which again is a fabulous benefit in avoiding the horrid feeling of isolation.”
The VDH can be accessed at virtualdementiahub.ie.