UK-Brazil SPRINT network on assistive media for health and wellbeing in ageing

This project is a collaborative research activity and network between the University of Surrey, University of Sao Paulo (USP) and Federal University of Sao Carlos UFSCAR). It is exploring the therapeutic nature of what we call 'assistive media', for enhancing mental health and wellbeing in older people, including those who are socially isolated or suffering from dementia.

We adopt an ‘assistive media’ perspective, combining insights from multiple research strands across these three universities, exploring the therapeutic uses of digital media content for self-expression, stimulating memories and conversation, and changing emotions.

This is a collaborative interdisciplinary research network funded by FAPESP and University of Surrey jointly. The USP and UFSCar team complements research at Surrey in terms of expertise in Computer Science, Gerontology, and wellbeing. The Surrey team expertise is healthcare, digital storytelling and interaction design. The network originated from the sabbatical work of Professor Paula Castro at Digital World Research Centre on Mobile technology for older people. It has led to three pieces of collaborative work on the Time Matters project, and the Media Parcels project, and the Augmented paper in dementia care project. 

The ongoing network is led by Professor David Frohlich at the University of Surrey, Professor Maria Graca Pimentel at the USP, and Professor Paula Castro at UFSCAR.  It was initially funded by the University of Surrey and FAPESP to a joint value of £16,000, and ran from 1 February 2017 for 24 months. Additional investigators include Dr Theti Chrysanthaki at Surrey, Dr Isabela Zaine at USP, and Larissa Ferraz at UFCAR.


Fernanda Carlos da Silva P., Taveira Ferraz L., Frohlich D.M., Gratão A., Chrysanthaki T., & Castro P. (2022) The potential of digital storytelling for home-based dementia care in Brazil. Gerontechnology 21(1): 1-12.

Lorenzi, L. J., Belo, L. F., Frohlich, D. M., Dourado, V. Z., Castro, P. C., & de Oliveira Gomes, G. A. (2021). Factors related to the adoption and adherence of physical activity mobile applications by older people: a scoping review protocol. BMJ open11(10), e052414.

Castro, P.C., Romano, L.B., Frohlich, D., Lorenzi, L.J., Campos, L.B., Paixão, A., Bet, P., Deutekom, M., Krose, B., Dourado, V.Z. and Angélica de Oliveira Gomes, G., 2020. Tailoring digital apps to support active ageing in a low income community. PloS one15(12), p.e0242192. 

Frohlich, D.M., Castro P. & Campbell S. (2020) Introducing assistive media. Gerontechnology 2020;19 (Suppl.). 

Frohlich D.M (2020) Recommendations for technology re-invention for an older market. Keynote paper to Brazilian Congress of Gerontechnology 2019. For the Portuguese Interdisciplinary Studies of Ageing Journal, in press. 

Frohlich D.M., Corrigan-Kavanagh E., Campbell S., Chrysanthaki T., Castro P., Zaine I., da Graça Campos Pimentel M. (2020) Assistive media for wellbeing. Chapter 12 in G. Kenning & R Brankaert (Eds) HCI and design in the context of dementia. Springer. 

Zaine I., Frohlich D.M., Rodrigues K.R.H., Cunha B.C.R., Orlando A.F., Scalco, L.F. & Pimentel, M.G.C. (2019) Promoting social connection and deepening relations among older adults: Design and qualitative evaluation of Media Parcels. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21 (9), e14112:1-19. 

Abrahao A.R.R., da Silva P.F.C., Frohlich D.M., Chrysanthaki T., Gratão A., Castro P.C. (2018) Mobile digital storytelling in a Brazilian care home, Lecture Notes in Computer Science: HCI International 2018 - Conference Proceedings Springer 

Frohlich DM (2017) From Audio Paper to Next Generation Paper, WebMedia '17 - Proceedings of the 23rd Brazillian Symposium on Multimedia and the Web pp. 9-10 ACM New York