Another dementia center has turned to human-centric lighting (HCL) to help treat patients. This time, the St. Augustinus Memory Center in Neuss, Germany, is trialing tunable lighting from Osram to study the effect of different light frequencies and intensity on patients’ wellbeing and on circadian rhythm, which is an important factor in dementia.
St. Augustinus, also known as AMZ, is a combined hospital and research center. It is outfitting patients’ rooms, patients’ common areas, and public showrooms with smart, tunable lighting using Osram’s Lightify system.
Chief physician Ulrich Sprick said AMZ is running three separate trials: one to determine which color temperature is optimal for older people; one to mimic day/night natural lighting patterns and thus support the all-important circadian rhythm; and a third aimed at minimizing falls by experimenting with different levels of lighting intensity that allow patients to see things better.
"With Osram control technology, we're able to check whether we can generate the effects of daylight that we have outside here in the hospital as well,” Dr. Sprick said.
Dementia patients often have difficulty processing light, which in turn disturbs their day–night rhythm and makes it difficult for them to sleep at night. In an experiment to offset this, AMZ will increase light intensity during the day, increasing the chance the patients will process enough light to restore their circadian rhythms to a more typical day–night balance.