Together they shall not fade away: Opportunities and challenges of self-tracking for dementia care

Ning Zou, Yu Chi, Daqing He, Bo Xie, Zhendong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dementia is a major public health concern, and mobile technologies have been identified as having the potential to improve the quality of life for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Recent research, however, suggests that technology-based solutions are frequently driven by and beneficial to caregivers, not both. Emerging personal technologies that are equipped with self-tracking are an ideal option for accommodating person-centered care in light of the collaborative nature of dementia care. However, there is a lack of investigation on how tracking occurs in the context of dementia care. This article presents a thematic analysis of the types of tracking-related information desired in dementia care online communities, as well as how and by whom they are desired through adapting the Conceptual Model of Shared Health Informatics (CoMSHI) for tracking in chronic illness management. Our findings show that four types of tracking metrics are desired for nine types of information: safety alert for wandering, falls, and strangers, reminders of daily life activities and medical and health related activities, monitoring data related to daily life activities and data related to health status, and remote control for patients' daily life activities and financial safety. Family members, caregivers, community members, and persons with dementia involved in work with tracked data face specific challenges. We recommend that self-tracking technologies be implemented in dementia care through collaboration, with the recognition of different types of information as well as different roles involved and with particular attention paid to different types of data work and related roles in data work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103024
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Collaborative tracking
  • Data work
  • Dementia care
  • Mobile technology
  • Ubiquitous computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Library and Information Sciences


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