Research Alert

Background: The dementia epidemic is progressing fast. As the world’s older population keeps skyrocketing, the traditional incompetent, time-consuming, and laborious interventions are becoming increasingly insufficient to address dementia patients’ health care needs. This is particularly true amid COVID-19. Instead, efficient, cost-effective, and technology-based strategies, such as sixth-generation communication solutions (6G) and artificial intelligence (AI)-empowered health solutions, might be the key to successfully managing the dementia epidemic until a cure becomes available. However, while 6G and AI technologies hold great promise, no research has examined how 6G and AI applications can effectively and efficiently address dementia patients’ health care needs and improve their quality of life.

Objective: This study aims to investigate ways in which 6G and AI technologies could elevate dementia care to address this study gap.

Methods: A literature review was conducted in databases such as PubMed, Scopus, and PsycINFO. The search focused on three themes: dementia, 6G, and AI technologies. The initial search was conducted on April 25, 2021, complemented by relevant articles identified via a follow-up search on November 11, 2021, and Google Scholar alerts.

Results: The findings of the study were analyzed in terms of the interplay between people with dementia’s unique health challenges and the promising capabilities of health technologies, with in-depth and comprehensive analyses of advanced technology-based solutions that could address key dementia care needs, ranging from impairments in memory (eg, Egocentric Live 4D Perception), speech (eg, Project Relate), motor (eg, Avatar Robot Café), cognitive (eg, Affectiva), to social interactions (eg, social robots).

Conclusions: To live is to grow old. Yet dementia is neither a proper way to live nor a natural aging process. By identifying advanced health solutions powered by 6G and AI opportunities, our study sheds light on the imperative of leveraging the potential of advanced technologies to elevate dementia patients’ will to live, enrich their daily activities, and help them engage in societies across shapes and forms.