the cups blog


SOAPS: Usable Security for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease

Kirstie Hawkey
Goal: Develop a calendar/reminder system that can be used throughout the phases of cognitive decline, adapt the information to a useful granularity and a usable form, securely store the personal information, yet allow it to be accessible for users with reduced cognitive abilities
Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Most common cause of dementia, progress decline in cognitive abilities, abilities can fluctuate

Prior requirements gathering: Semi structured interviews with caregiver/patients.
Device requirements:

  • Must be authoritive source of information
  • Mobile
  • Afford multimodal interactions, especially speech
  • Maintain a presence

Difficulty: Tech Introduction

  • Mechanical skills/fears: bad previous experiences, need to recover gracefully
  • Willingness of caregivers to provide information

Difficulty: Privacy and Security Concerns:

  • Device will contain quite a bit of sensitive information, device can be easily misplaced.
  • How to authenticate with the cognitively impaired?
  • Speech/audio interaction will likely play a strong role as cognitive abilities decline

Initial thoughts:

  • Biometrics could be problematic
  • Need seemless authentication with task
  • Can personal vocabulary help interaction abilities, and provide some defense?
  • Can proximity provide against theft/loss? (RFID medical tag, which could trigger heavier authentication, ie, passwords)

Q: Does this make the patients more vulnerable?