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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

Artists in Labs and The Persistence of Memory. Dementia and Digital Aid Tools for Decision-making in Health-Care

IBME, in cooperation with ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts) and IRME (Institute for Regenerative Medicine, UZH), has been awarded a generous grant from the Velux Stiftung, in order to support two artistic residencies of six months. The artists will join efforts with researchers and come up with fresh perspectives on the topics of memory, dementia, and digital aid tools to support decision making.

Dementia is one of the major social and health policy challenges facing our society. The ageing of the population will lead to an increasing number of people suffering from it in the coming decades. The project will embed artists into scientific and medical research and praxis of Dementia. Together, the artists and scientist will explore to what extent opportunities arising from digitalization can be used to support patients, relatives and health care providers in their decision-making during the course of the disease and to improve the interface with medical care and research in this field.

The power of art lies in its different approach towards complex themes. The project will provide new means to stimulate the dialogue between science, medicine, patients and the public and will thus promote informed decision making. The artist's “outside” perspective could help building important bridges, linking expertise between ongoing developments in research, technology, praxis and society to face the major challenge of Dementia. The artists' questions might identify gaps in approaches and trigger “out of the box” thinking and foster new, unforeseeable ideas.

“The Persistence of Memory” is an independent project in collaboration with the University of Zurich (UZH) and embedded in, but not limited to, the ongoing research of IBME and IREM on patient narratives and digital aid tools for decision making for dementia patients and healthcare professionals. This affiliation will allow access to state-of-the-art research and technology, as well as to patients and their relatives to allow building up the trust and relationships. The project is headed by the artists-in-labs program (AIL) of the Zurich University of the Arts.