Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

UniSA develops chatbot for dementia carers

Dementia – a word that roughly 50 million people worldwide are intimately acquainted with every day, along with their unpaid family carers. In the next 12 months, an ageing population will boost that statistic by 20 per cent, adding to the psychological stress, loss of productivity and lost income for countless families across the globe.

However, a new digitally-driven international research project led by the University of South Australia could provide respite for around two million carers living in the Asia Pacific region.

A $2.5 million e-ASIA grant, comprising $1.8 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and $700,000 from four Asia Pacific countries, will fund the development of a virtual assistant tool that will support dementia carers in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The tool, comprising a website and smart device app, will allow dementia carers to search topics using text or voice command and provide video instructions to support them in their caring roles.

The principal investigator, Dr Tuan Anh Nguyen, a UniSA Senior Research Fellow specialising in dementia, will lead a multidisciplinary team of researchers, consumers and software developers to design the virtual assistant tool and translate it into Bahasa, Maori and Vietnamese.

The aim is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of informal carers of people with dementia, he said. Dementia is a global public health priority and one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. It affects around 10 per cent of people aged 65 years and older and places a huge burden on their families.

Most people with dementia are cared for by unpaid family members and in low- and middle-income countries, where aged care facilities and other support services are lacking, the impacts can be devastating.

Successful intervention models have already been developed to support dementia carers, but they are resource-intensive. Some models, for example, require interventionists going into carers’ homes over a period of three months. The costs are unsustainable, according to the World Health Organization, which is looking for an alternative.

Carer interventions delivered online or via the app could overcome these barriers faced by carers, which also include lack of transport, finance and the inability to leave their relative who has dementia. Also, they are the only option in crises like the COVID-19 pandemic we are experiencing this year when social isolation policies are in place.

The digital platform for carers is also driven by the widespread use of smartphones, with more than five billion of the world’s population using mobile devices, including 83 per cent of people in the Asia Pacific region.

Dr Nguyen says an existing self-learning online skills training and support program for informal dementia carers will be more accessible with the help of a virtual assistant tool translated into different languages. It will also provide real-time and peer support.

The aim is to ensure quality care for people with dementia, no matter their location, income, or crises facing them,” he says. The project is expected to be completed in three years.

More on the e-ASIA grant

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) announced that they are investing $4.5 million in six ground-breaking international medical research projects aimed at improving outcomes in Alzheimer’s disease, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, cancer, mental health conditions, anorexia nervosa and the human health impact of climate change.

This funding is awarded through the following joint schemes:

  • European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)
  • UK National Institute for Health Research, and
  • e-ASIA Joint Research Program.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.