Teen Develops New App That May Help Alzheimer's Patients Recognize Family
A progressively worsening form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is best known for the way it affects memory. As the condition interferes with nerve cells in the brain, it can become increasingly difficult for patients to recognize close friends and family.
Researchers are committed to finding a cure—more than 90 percent of what we know about Alzheimer’s was discovered in the past 20 years alone, according to the Alzheimer's Association—but those affected and their loved ones are hoping to find faster solutions in other venues. Fourteen-year-old Emma Yang put her programming skills to work creating an app that may one day help her grandmother, who was diagnosed with the disease, remember her loved ones.
According to Fast Company, Yang coded an app called Timeless, which uses facial recognition to inform users about who a person is and what their relationship is to the patient. If a user doesn’t recognize someone, he or she can snap a photo and Timeless will try to fetch details. With repetitive scrolling and browsing of photos, it’s possible patients will be better able to retain information about that individual.
Timeless also brings up appointment reminders and can notify users when they might be performing a task repetitively. If a user calls a friend after failing to remember the first call, for example, Timeless will put up a notification that it’s the second call made in a short period of time.
Yang is hoping that an Indiegogo campaign will be able to raise enough funds for further development and a formal study on the app’s efficacy.
[h/t Fast Company]