I require feedback for a mobile application I am developing for Alzheimer patients.

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Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/26/2012 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all, I hope you all had a great Christmas! I am a student studying computing science in Scotland, for my Honours project I am to develop a mobile application which will allow a Dementia patient to walk outdoors to locations independently without carers escorting them. I have a lot of work ahead of me and I was hoping I could maybe get some advice before beginning the actual software development.

Basically my idea in a nutshell is that the patient can enter and store locations and notes per location into the phone. When they want to walk to the location, they select it and press a button, which sets a timer to go off every say 20 minutes or so, the user can choose a duration themselves. Once the time runs out the user is alerted on screen with information on where they are going and why, with further options. These options could be: to continue being outside which resets the timer to 0 and counts towards 20 minutes again, or press to get a map showing the route home from their current location or call a designated carer.

The problem is due to the nature of Dementia it cannot be trusted that they will remember they have the device, so the only way I can think of is timed alerts, which I guess could be very annoying, but if suffering this nuisance can provide some freedom then it should be worth it right?

I have never dealt with patients before, I have no idea how this type of application would work, but after 2 months of thinking non stop, I cannot see any other way a Dementia patient could utilize a mobile application designed to help them.

I did think about tracking the users location at all times but this is too risky as the patient being very dependent on the technology may not have the best area which supports cellular data which maps need in order to track phones outdoors, also using maps a lot can use a lot of cellular data and could become expensive, which is why I moved on to my current idea.

If anyone could provide me with any information or advice that would be greatly appreciated, the more information I have the better results I can hope to achieve from this project. I really would love for this to actually help these poor people.

Many kind regards,


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 12/27/2012 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
You're right, the device that you are thinking of is just not feasible. It's great that you want to create something for the AD patient but unfortunately they will not be able to utilize it. They already have something on the market that the AD patient wears and it has a GPS on it with a monthly monitoring service. However, it can be a bit costly after a while because you are paying a monthly fee. So if you can design something similar without a monthly monitoring service - perhaps something the caregiver can use, that would be something more people would be interested in I imagine.
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 1/10/2013 5:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I love the idea of creating something for AD Patients. Sadly, as they progress it won't be able to be used, as they won't remember. I could see it working in the first states of AD though. Spinning off of Sherry's Idea, a Tracking Device with the AD Patient (like shoes, shirt, depends) and a mother locator for the caregiver would be nice.

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