24: The Magic Table with John Ramsey From Shift 8

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Our guest on this episode of the 15 Minutes with the Doctor is John Ramsay. He’s the Chief Exec of Shift 8 and has introduced the Tovertafel (“Magic Table”) to the UK – It allows light projections onto any table surface and enables the users to play musical, sports, and other types of games while having a safe space to engage with others. It is aimed at those with dementia and learning disabilities. Learn about John’s personal story into healthcare innovation, what the Tovartafel is and its benefits, and how it’s use is growing rapidly.
  • The beginnings of this partnership
    – John’s friend Hester created the Tovertafel in Holland
    – John’s father experienced early-onset Alzheimer’s and John realised the impact that a resource like the Tovertafel could have.
    – When he became aware of the Tovertafel, John was working in corporate law, but he realised that he would prefer use his talents where they could have more impact.
    – As it came time to come to a licensing agreement, John and Hester learned that the most effective approach was being:
    – Open
    – Honest
    – Structured
    – Willing to accept mistakes
    – Mutually appreciative
    – Collaborative

“When I heard about something that would make a difference to those living with dementia and make them more engaged with the world around them…I realised that maybe corporate law wasn’t for me and this was my calling.”

  • Why is there a need for this resource?
    – There is often limited activities for cognitively impaired individuals at their care homes.
    – Many patients become apathetic and disengaged and sometimes depressed.

“It’s about changing the lives of people with dementia and other cognitive impairments.”

  • The design process.
    – Each game idea is considered in light of its ability to engage those who are cognitively impaired.
    – The development team then puts a test version of the game together and it is tested for its inclusivity before being distributed.
    – They try to develop a variety of games, recognising that not everyone enjoys music or sport.

“If you can activate these parts of the brain, you create engagement, and it’s that that creates happiness.”

  • The impacts of the Tovertafel
    – So far, the Tovertafel has been distributed to 600 care centers and has been used by 10,000 loved ones in the UK.
    – There have been countless stories of individuals experiencing true happiness and dramatic behavior changes after engaging with others and the world using the Tovertafel.
    – Shift 8 has conducted more than 60 studies to test the effectiveness of the technology and make any necessary improvements.
    – They hope to be able to quantify and codify the social impacts of the Tovertafel and integrate this research into future production.

“It’s amazing to see the effect that we are producing each and every day.”

  • Plans for the future.
    – Continue to increase the number of loved ones supported by the Tovertafel.
    – Expand the technology into other cognitive impairments.
    – Enlarge the geographic locations served.

    For more information::

    Tovertafel: https://tovertafel.co.uk/
    Email: info@shift8.co.uk

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