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Researchers at Ulster University have launched eCareWell (Enhancing CARErs WELLbeing), a new research project to understand how digital technology can best meet the needs of carers whilst supporting their health and wellbeing.

Led by Professor Joan Condell of Ulster University and funded through the UK Community Renewal Fund, researchers at Ulster are working in partnership with the Design Innovation and Assisted Living centre (DIAL@NWRC), the Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI), Digital Catapult NI (DCNI), several charities and local community groups.The project will:

  • Evaluate health and social care provision at a community level
  • Investigate what technologies established in Northern Ireland can support carers needs
  • Identify barriers to use of technology for caregivers

The pilot project will focus solely on recruitment of carers from the Derry City & Strabane District council area to take part in a research study.  The study will first assess the needs of carers and carers will then be asked to consider a range of technologies to understand technology’s impact on carers mental and physical health.

Project Lead Professor Joan Condell, from Ulster University’s Intelligent Systems Research Centre at the Magee campus said:

“Digital technologies can have a profoundly positive impact on quality of life and mental health and wellbeing. Through the eCareWell project, we want to engage with carers in the Derry City and Strabane council area to investigate how digital technologies can help support carers and those they are caring for.  We are working closely with local Northern Ireland companies Elemental, EthelCare, Kraydel, B-Secur and TakeTen to build an innovation cluster focused on caregivers.

“Caring for a loved one is a hugely demanding role so this research project is a great opportunity for carers in the local area to get involved and support their own wellbeing by trying out new digital tools. Their vital feedback will help us adapt existing technologies and develop new technologies to better support the health and wellbeing of carers in Northern Ireland.”

How to take part

The eCareWell team is currently looking for informal carers in the Derry City & Strabane area to participate in the study.

The process will include an initial assessment of each carer’s needs before participants will be matched with technologies to assess which can successfully support their mental and physical health. 

Carers are invited to register their interest by contacting Professor Joan Condell at by 28 February 2022. Testing will complete by the end of summer.