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7COM1084 Specialism Research Report

Assignment Brief: (Word Count: 1400)

In order to conduct independent research in computer science you must fully understand the research area. You must have a grasp of the current open questions in this area, as well as any common techniques used to solve problems.

In this assignment you must provide an overview of your MSc Research specialism (AI / Networking / Cyber Security / Software Engineering / Data Science). Students without a specialism may choose any one of these specialisms.

You must discuss the research question presented within the relevant specialist lecture for this specialism, propose some research approaches to investigate this question and identify further work you might undertake which builds on this. You must also explore your personal strengths in this area.





Technology has a tremendous influence on modern-day healthcare planning, and different technology supports improved treatment methods for treating different health issues such as dementia. Dementia is not any specific type of disease; it is generally a group of conditions characterised by improper brain functioning that causes impairment. Different symptoms are associated with this specific health issue, such as forgetfulness, improper thinking ability and behavioural issues. The specialism area mentioned in this study is an implementation of the different trajectories of hand movement that helps in a proper screening of deaf signers in British Sign Language (BSL) (Liang et al. 2019). Improvement of different aspects of computer science technology is essential for the implementation of different data science technologies such as CT, ICT and MRI to provide effective treatment for those ageing deaf signers in BSL. Two essential methods for dementia screening are mentioned in this provided study, and different approaches along with open research questions will be discussed in this study.

Open research question

Research question from the specialist paper:

Is the signing space enveloping correlated with mild cognitive impairment and, in particular, early stages of dementia?

Dementia issues can be cured with the help of initial screening and effective treatment to those ageing signers in BSL. This specific research question can be termed as an important one that can provide an in-depth analysis of the reason for dementia among ageing signers and possible computer science technologies that can help overcome such issues. Dementia is an important social issue that needs urgent screening and possible proper treatment in the initial stages to provide relief to those patients (Kakutani et al. 2019). Therefore, initial screening requires advanced technology that can perfectly determine the actual issue after screening those ageing signs in BSL. This research question can help identify different data science technology that has enough capability to determine perfect signs of dementia among ageing signers. Dementia is not only a health issue it influences the cognitive impairment among patients that has a minimum effect even after providing effective treatment. Dementia includes symptoms such as disorientation and spacing problems that can occur as an acute influence of stroke (Price et al. 2018). Therefore, initial screening is vital for which technology plays the role of front-runner.

Research problem addressed

Various movement and behavioural trajectory models are established for tracking abnormalities of movements in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients across the world. however, most of them include bias and accuracy is not up to the mark (Liang et al. 2019). Thus, the concerned specialist paper has addressed that research problem for easing dementia screening for British adults and deaf people during BSL learning.

RGBD video can significantly detect the different issues of dementia and help doctors to treat those ageing without hampering their health. Tracking of hand trajectory by using skin colour segmentation is effective enough to determine dementia symptoms among ageing patients of BSL (Liang et al. 2019). Further, this research question is sufficiently susceptible to the determination of advantages of initial hand trajectory strategy implementation for dementia screening and long-term effectiveness in curing the process of such health issues.

Existing and related work

Dementia can be termed as the outcome of acute Alzimers health problems among ageing people; however, some symptoms of dementia can vary from person to person. Dementia is a reason for different health diseases that indicates its cure process is not so prominent. According to Darweesh et al. (2018), dementia issue diagnosis needs to follow some essential standardised strategy that can provide long-term influence in ageing people. Proper diagnosis can improve the patient’s condition; however, a complete cure strategy for dementia is still impossible. On the contrary, Villar et al. (2019) have demonstrated that narrative agencies have faced intense challenges in screening and treatment of dementia for which an exclusive focus model needs to be developed. Therefore, it can be determined that the implementation of a practical focus model can be helpful in the initial screening of dementia and provide strategic treatment for reducing its symptoms among ageing people. Presently no specific treatment that can significantly cure dementia issues are absent, and proper lifestyle plays a critical aspect in maintaining dementia issue among ageing people (Anang et al. 2017).

Cognitive impairment is a severe impact of dementia that includes improper movement of the body for dementia patients. This is termed one of the most common non-motor aspects of health that greatly influence the quality of an individual’s life quality. Cognition generally encompasses different brain functions, including loss of memory, judgement and capability of learning new things (Rivard and Khairy, 2017). Technology can improve treatment procedures to the extent that initial treatment can improve ageing people’s health conditions and lifestyles. On the other hand, Lenka et al. (2017) have explained that the frequency of cognitive impairment reaches a severe stage that causes postural difficulties of an individual. Therefore, it can be considered that cognitive impairment is a severe issue in ageing people that influences daily life greatly.

Gaps explored:

These existing pieces of literature are not fully compatible to effectively answer the research question, as they do not have enough details regarding technology and its applications. Informatics respective of dementia treatment and implementation strategy of computer science technology are not fully utilised by this literature.

Thus, open problem to be addressed:

  1. Unavailability of strategic data science techniques that can fully utilise advanced technologies to screen dementia patients effectively (Villar et al. 2019)
  2. Unavailability of proper methods related to technology implementation to treat the dementia issue among ageing patients effectively

Research approach

According to the specialist article, data science has a significant role in initial screening technologies of dementia. Therefore, the research approach that has been selected in this provided case study of deaf signers in BSL indicates an interview of almost 250 ageing signers (Liang et al. 2019). Video clips of those interviews are analysed later to identify outcomes regarding technology and its application in specific dementia treatment processes. Higher cognitive impairment issues generally raise questions regarding a higher progression of dementia among ageing people (Sen et al. 2018). Colour filtering techniques have been selected with an open pose skeleton system to early determine the symptoms of ageing deaf signers in BSL.

The research approach of taking interviews and video analysis provides different advantages in getting an effective outcome. Irwin and Vitiello (2019) have explained that the development of dementia can be related to different genetic issues that create difficulties among aging people in later stages. One significant advantage of using this research approach is the availability of an original dataset gathered during the interview of BSL respondents. Further, advantages related to the implementation of advanced techniques such as hand trajectory and open pose model provide support for computer science requirements. Dementia development can be termed lifetime risk for any ageing individual (Brookmeyer and Abdalla, 2018). Therefore, this approach has provided the advantage of identifying different risks associated with dementia and possible reduction stages after gathering accurate data by interview. The use of ICT and IoT technology for data analysis in the determination of dementia issues has provided advantages. Further, difficulties in determining dementia symptoms using ADL methods allow rejecting this method in future research work. Disadvantages included the absence of secondary data that can further data gathering and analysis. Again, taking interviews of those dementia patients of BSL causes some issues regarding forgetfulness of repayments that have reduced authenticity to some extent. Disadvantages regarding analysis of such data and improper availability of skilled staff for handling ICT and IoT technologies have added disadvantages in this research.

Primary data collection, that is, survey approach and secondary data collection approach can be helpful to gather large amounts of data from which accurate results can be achieved. Survey data collection can support accurate data gathering, and secondary data will effectively enhance data quality (Queirós et al. 2017). Therefore, survey and secondary data gathering will be an alternative to the interview option in this research.

Personal investment

Interest related to this specific research question indicates its potential for answering different aspects for screening dementia health issues. According to Bansal et al. (2018), dementia is an important and emerging issue in which detection at an early stage can help patients provide some help. Hand trajectory and open pose model helps in an effective trajectory-based screening process through which the actual issue of ageing patients can be identified. Therefore, this research question can potentially help in determining the root cause of dementia among the elderly (Liang et al. 2019). Availability of these advantages has developed an interest in accepting this particular research question in this topic.

Strengths for handling research:

  1. Skills for primary data collection
  2. Knowledge of hand movement trajectory measurements
  3. Another initial screening process for dementia
  4. Critical thinking skills

Experience that will fit me for the research:

  1. Experience in data collection in college assignments
  2. Experience of teamwork
  3. Experience in handling multiple tasks at a time

Reference List

Anang, J., Nomura, T., Romenets, S.R., Nakashima, K., Gagnon, J.F. and Postuma, R.B., 2017. Dementia predictors in Parkinson disease: a validation study. Journal of Parkinson’s disease7(1), pp.159-162.

Bansal, D., Chhikara, R., Khanna, K. and Gupta, P., 2018. Comparative analysis of various machine learning algorithms for detecting dementia. Procedia computer science132, pp.1497-1502.

Brookmeyer, R. and Abdalla, N., 2018. Estimation of lifetime risks of Alzheimer’s disease dementia using biomarkers for preclinical disease. Alzheimer’s & Dementia14(8), pp.981-988.

Darweesh, S.K., Wolters, F.J., Ikram, M.A., de Wolf, F., Bos, D. and Hofman, A., 2018. Inflammatory markers and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: A meta-analysis. Alzheimer’s & Dementia14(11), pp.1450-1459.

Irwin, M.R. and Vitiello, M.V., 2019. Implications of sleep disturbance and inflammation for Alzheimer’s disease dementia. The Lancet Neurology18(3), pp.296-306.

Kakutani, S., Watanabe, H. and Murayama, N., 2019. Green tea intake and risks for dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and cognitive impairment: a systematic review. Nutrients11(5), p.1165.

Lenka, A., Hegde, S., Arumugham, S.S. and Pal, P.K., 2017. Pattern of cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease and psychosis: a critical review. Parkinsonism & related disorders37, pp.11-18.

Liang, X., Kapetanios, E., Woll, B. and Angelopoulou, A., 2019, August. Real time hand movement trajectory tracking for enhancing dementia screening in ageing deaf signers of British sign language. In International Cross-Domain Conference for Machine Learning and Knowledge Extraction (pp. 377-394). Springer, Cham.

Price, B.R., Norris, C.M., Sompol, P. and Wilcock, D.M., 2018. An emerging role of astrocytes in vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia. Journal of neurochemistry144(5), pp.644-650.

Queirós, A., Faria, D. and Almeida, F., 2017. Strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods. European Journal of Education Studies, 9(3), pp.369-387.

Rivard, L. and Khairy, P., 2017. Mechanisms, clinical significance, and prevention of cognitive impairment in patients with atrial fibrillation. Canadian Journal of Cardiology33(12), pp.1556-1564.

Sen, A., Capelli, V. and Husain, M., 2018. Cognition and dementia in older patients with epilepsy. Brain141(6), pp.1592-1608.

Villar, F., Serrat, R. and Bravo-Segal, S., 2019. Giving them a voice: Challenges to narrative agency in people with dementia. Geriatrics4(1), p.20.

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