14-year age-old Emma Yang has watched firsthand the effects Alzheimer’s can have on their own families. She’s watched as her grandmother progressed from being simply forgetful to entering the very early stages of the disease. Now, she’s trying to do something about it. Yang is working on an app to help Alzheimer’s patients re-learn, recollect, and recognize loved ones based on photographs.
Timeless, currently elevating operating funds on Indiegogo, lets Alzheimer’s patients scroll through images of friends and family. Nonetheless, it goes beyond simply supplanting your phone’s camera rolling. The app likewise uses facial recognition to identify the people in each photo and detail how they’re related to the patient. The patient can also take a photo of someone nearby and attempt to identify them, in the case they’re in the same room with person they don’t remember.( While not subtle, it at least dedicates patients the ability to take some control of their situation, rather than relying on others to fill in gaps in their recollection .)
“There are no apps on the market that is actually help Alzheimer’s patients with their daily lives, ” Yang told Fast Company . “A lot of hours people think that it’s not going to help, or the elderly can’t truly use engineering, but in fact, if you strategically introduce it to them, it’s actually a potential and can really benefit their lives.”
The app has other features as well. It also includes a contacts page, which presents a contact’s photo along with their epithet, and a segment for reminders, so individual patients can keep track of to-do’s and appointments. It also includes a “me” screen, which includes information about the patient themselves, such as their age, address, phone number, and name.
One other useful ability in the app: Sometimes an Alzheimer’s sufferer will forget they’ve lately called a loved one, and can end up calling them repeatedly. To avoid this from happening–or to continue efforts to alert individual patients that it is happening–the app will deliver a notification reminding the user that they just called that contact” less than five minutes ago ,” for example, and then asks if they are continuing wishes to make the call.
Yang isn’t developing the app entirely on her own. She’s working with several mentors and has partnered a engineering company called Kairos to handle the facial acceptance aspect of the app. New technology, including AI, is also being used to help identify Alzheimer’s and other genetic disorders in other apps.
While Yang has a prototype, she hasn’t yet tested out Timeless with Alzheimer’s patients. After raising monies on Indiegogo, that’s one of her next steps. In a developing population of aging someones with exposure to apps and smartphones–like the titular character in the 2014 cinema Still Alice –an idea like Yang’s app could feasibly help Alzheimer’s patients, especially those with very early symptoms of the disease.
H/ T Fast Company