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,