The Department of Health has announced funding of £1.8 million for the UK’s first ever trial to measure how much longer people with dementia can live safely and independently in their own homes using telecare. Participants will be assessed using Just Checking, and provided with relevant telecare and stand-alone devices from a dementia-specific list, including gas detectors, property exit sensors, movement sensors and automatic lights.
The ATTILA Trial (Assistive Technology and Telecare to maintain Independent Living At home for people with dementia) aims to establish whether assistive technology and telecare interventions safely extend the time that people with dementia can continue to live independently in their own homes and whether this is cost-effective. The trial is based at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, with sites in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford and Norwich. Results of the four year randomised control trial are expected to be published in 2018.
The funding comes as part of £22 million made available to 21 innovative research projects to boost dementia diagnosis rates and trial ground-breaking treatments. Almost 700,000 people in England are currently diagnosed with dementia, and this figure is set to double in the next 30 years. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “The UK has a firm ambition to become a world leader in dementia research. It is home to some of the world’s best dementia researchers and specialist research facilities, and this Government is committed to supporting them.

“To make a real difference to research, Government must respond to the barriers the industry faces. It is vital that we can translate the excellent work happening in our laboratories across the country into treatments that can help people live well with dementia today, whilst ultimately working towards finding a cure.”