M3W - Maintaining and Measuring Mental Wellness
(2011-2015) The change of mental abilities is a normal process which already affects the population over 40 and strengthens with the age. Reading books, playing card and board games, solving crosswords are popular tools for keeping the mind fresh. With the spread of computers and computer networks computerized games are becoming more and more popular among the elderly. There are many websites offering games for everyone, however, only few of them are designed for the elderly as far as content, ergonomics, psychology, abilities, etc. are concerned. On the other hand, a continuously increasing number of websites are opened for the 50+, 60+ and older which rarely offer on-line games for the visitors. The aim of the M3W projekt is to utilize the fact that on-line games are able to collect behavioural data in order to measure mental (and motoric) abilities and especially their changes over time. If we can measure states and especially state changes in a scientifically sound way and a strictly controlled environment then we can provide better and more timely help for the elderly and their families.
The main objective of the project is to develop a mental wellness toolset for self usage (i.e. for the individuals and their families), and only to a lesser extent for the medical experts (psychiatrists, psychologists, carers, etc.) Our goal is to measure and visualize mental changes, tendencies in an entertaining way, and to give indications, sort of warnings, alarms or reports, to the effected persons and their relatives or friends that it is advisable to visit a physician. Our ambition is to compare one's mental wellness to his/her own past mental wellness conditions (in relative values), while it is definitely not our aim to compare one's mental ability to others' (in absolute values, like the Intelligence Quotient).
The M3W project, supported by the AAL Joint Programme (ref. no. AAL-2009-2-109) started in the fourth quarter of 2011.