It is quite a given fact that when we grow old, we tend to forget some memories we have had in our lives. But there are those who not only forget, but also get impaired in language and speaking; these are the people who suffer from an ailment called Alzheimer's Disease.
In line with this, Samsung Electronics Tunisia (SETN), along with the help of the Tunisian Alzheimer's Association and 3SG BBDO, has launched a new mobile app called "Backup Memory." The app functions as a memory stimulator for those people who are showing early signs of the said disease. It helps patients become aware of their surroundings by identifying family members and friends who are nearby, and then reminds the patient about his/her relationship with that person and the memories they have had together.
The app utilizes a device's Bluetooth connectivity, which searches for other devices running the same app. A connection to those devices is then made, if they are in a 10-meter (33 feet) range. Backup Memory then pulls information regarding the nearby person.
Azer Jaafoura, marketing manager at Samsung Electronics Tunisia, shared his thoughts about the birthing of the project as one of its proponents. He stated:
We wanted to make life easier for Alzheimer’s patients as well as their caretakers, but we were initially unsure of how to go about doing this. While Alzheimer’s may be incurable, recent studies have shown that mental stimulation in the form of regular reminders of past events could potentially slow down the progression of the disease. This is where we saw an opportunity.
Samsung Electronics Tunisia collaborated with 3SG BBDO to design the app. Furthermore, the Tunisian Alzheimer's Association has held tests during the app's development, to ensure that the app would work effectively for patients. According to Dr. Meriam Labidi, a geriatrician and a member of the Tunisian Alzheimer’s Association:
We’ve had some Alzheimer’s patients try out Backup Memory, and we’ve seen good results. With Alzheimer’s, what is lost is lost forever. Through cognitive stimulation, patients can hold onto their memory for a little longer and slow down Alzheimer’s devastating effect.
Azer and his team plan to add more features to the app in the future, like using a phone's GPS to help give people a real-time location of loved ones.
Back in December of last year, Samsung had developed a similar app named "Look at Me," which aims to help children with autism practice eye contact.
Backup Memory can be downloaded from the Google Play Store here.
Source and video via Samsung Tomorrow