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Atlas CareMaps: One of Many Solutions

The Atlas CareMap is only one of the practical solutions being developed by the Atlas of Caregiving community. Atlas Practical Solutions are research-based tools and teachings for both caregivers and healthcare professionals to better understand and to improve daily caregiving realities. Each solution is based on real-world feedback, aims to inspire action, and begins with an open question about caregiving, such as: how can family caregiving become more simplified, and thus more effective?

Sensor technology

Atlas believes in the power of guided self-tracking to create useful data about caregiving. In fact, Atlas advisory council member Gary Wolf is a co-founder of the Quantified Self (QS) Movement, and Atlas founder Rajiv Mehta has been thoroughly involved with the QS movement since its inception. Rajiv recently spoke at the annual Quantified Self Conference QS17 in Amsterdam, discussing how wearable technology has the power to transform the caregiving landscape.

In our Pilot Study, we equipped families with wearable technology such as a Narrative Clip camera (a small wearable camera that takes photos roughly every 30 seconds) and an Empatica E4 (a wrist sensor which collected data on movement, heart rate, and electrodermal activity), as well as motion sensors placed throughout the home. The data from these devices painted a fascinating picture of not only what daily caregiving look like, but where there are opportunities to refine and fortify.

We are currently launching a series of guided self-tracking workshops in Santa Barbara where eight caregivers will be provided with tools for tracking their daily activity over the course of several months. Atlas will be supporting their efforts while also helping participants to visualize their data and uncover insights.

Non-technical solutions

In addition to technological solutions, Atlas believes other approaches to learning can have an equally large impact on caregivers. Interviews and hand-written daily logs, wherein participants wrote objectively about the day as well as about how they subjectively felt about it, were used in the Pilot Study to better understand the reality and variety of family caregiving experiences across the country. Examples of such logs can be seen in the results of the 14 families that participated in the study. Hand-drawn Atlas CareMaps are a powerful, non-technology, solution.

Atlas of Caregiving’s continuing mission

We envision a world where caregiving is valued and supported as fundamental to a healthy society. Atlas’ mission is to catalyze a transformative change for family caregiving through innovative research, practical solutions, and rich collaboration. By integrating advanced design techniques and modern technologies in all our work, we create an empathetic and engaging approach to innovation.

Our partners include the Santa Barbara Foundation, several organizations  Santa Barbara, California and AARP. With a goal of changing the way family caregiving is understood, Atlas is constantly striving to better inform and support family caregivers, as well as the policies, programs and services available to them. 

Except where noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.