Four Cornell Computing and Information Science (CIS) students are developing a new app that could dramatically improve the lives of dementia sufferers. Called Remember Me!, this app allows patients to stay connected to their memories and thus their friends and family and improves their quality of life and sense of independence.
Remember Me! is installed on the patient smartphone, the phone of their primary caregiver as well as family and friends. The caregiver can then send reminders to take medicine, make phone calls or complete particular tasks. If the patient receives a text or phone call from someone registered in the app, a “Who Am I?” screen pops up with reminder information about whom that person is and related photographs. One novel and helpful feature is a GPS tracker that activates when friends, family or caretaker is within 25 feet of the patient. The phone notifies the patient who is approaching and how they know that person and sends a memories slideshow. The GPS feature also allows patient tracking as those with dementia are known to wander. For more information visit remembermeapp.org.
During testing for the app, patients with dementia noted that they often lose their train of thought. In response, the developers have come up with a coherent speaking assistance feature that can assist the patients with questions they can ask to family and friends during conversation. By gathering info on friends and family (birthdays, children, work, etc), they can assist the patient in conversation based on things they might have trouble remembering. They also plan to apply natural language processing techniques on the patient’s speech patterns to predict their next sentence.
The student developers are Karthik Venkataramaiah, Vishal Kumkar, Shivananda Pujeri, and Mihir Shah. They recently presented the app at the ASEE conference and will launch the app on the Android platform in a few months. The Remember Me! team is currently planning to spin their work off as a startup and is exploring possible funding options. Contact Karthik Venkataramaiah for more info.