Welcome to WAY·KEY

WAY·KEY is a project funded by the FFG in the area of "Mobility of the Future" and is located at the Institute for Design and Assessment of Technology at the TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology). The aim of the project is the development of technological artefacts to assist dementia patients in navigation.


News and Announcements


Über das Projekt

In Austria about 1.2% of the population or a total of about 100.000 persons are affected by dementia. The increase of life expectancy will lead to a growing number of people affected in the future.

Maintaining mobility can help delay the advance of dementia symptoms since lack of movement is considered to be one of the prevalent risk factors for dementia in the USA and Europe according to Norton et al. [1]. However, encouraging mobility for people with dementia creates additional risks such as getting lost or falling. That is why technological solutions mostly focus on monitoring and restricting or even inhibiting the mobility of affected people. Often considered stakeholder groups in the design and implementation of technological solutions are care personnel and relatives, making adults with dementia only passive users in the functional chain. Whenever attempts were made to increase independent mobility, smartphones or smartwatches were used, which are known to be difficult to handle for this user group.

The project Way-Key follows the approach of promoting mobility for persons with light to medium grades of dementia. Independent mobility is feasible and a legitimate need in a self-determined lifestyle. Technology should be used to support people to the necessary extent, to guide them to their goal and back home safely, and to generally encourage mobility. Relatives or care personnel will be involved only when necessary. To avoid acceptance problems and facilitate everyday use, the developed tool will be connected to an item of daily use to make it likely to be carried along by users when leaving home. Privacy protection, human dignity, ethics by design, usability and non-discrimination are central themes in the project.

[1] Sam Norton, Fiona E. Matthews, Deborah E. Barnes, Kristine Yaffe, and Carol Brayne. 2014. Potential for primary prevention of Alzheimer’s disease: an analysis of population-based data. 13, 8 (2014), 788–794. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S147444221470136X


Curious? Questions? Contakt: Peter Purgathofer



AMA - The AccessibleMap Association aims to improve inclusion and accessibility of web-based maps for partially sighted people. Read more...

Haus der Barmherzigkeit - Academy for Research on Ageing. Read more...

iLOGS - the eProcess company

Institute for Design and Assessment of Technology - Human Computer Interaction Group (Coordination + Project management). Read more...

TeleConsult Austria - the navigation and mobility experts

Project management and contact: Peter Purgathofer

With financial support from the FFG as part of the "Mobility of the Future" call (6. Call for proposals, Autumn 2015).  

Images from flickr.com: (CC) José Morcillo Valenciano, (CC) Fouquier ॐ, (CC) Adam Coh