Smart seal for dementia patients

This furry fellow might look like a cuddly toy but is in fact an FDA approved robot with the potential to be the future in treatment of dementia patients. The PARO robot, developed in Japan, uses sensors that enables it to respond to touch, temperature and voices. It even develops its own “personality” based on the interaction with the owner.

In Queensland, a study with elderly dementia patients showed that the patients’ contact with the robots was linked to the patients becoming less anxious, demonstrating more happy behaviours and being less likely to wander off.

Why a seal? Well, the inventors claim it is less likely to scare patients. Very few have bad child hood memories with a seal whereas a cat or a dog might have a counter-productive effect…


About Claudia Olsson

Claudia Olsson is the Managing Director of ACCESS Health International Southeast Asia, working on elderly care and innovations for the aging world. Contact her at

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