Smartphone app technology aims to 'replace' lost memories

This year the Alzheimer's Society Innovation Team are supporting new projects through our Accelerator programme. We are very pleased to announce our support for the smartphone app How Do I?

The How Do I? app is designed to help people with dementia carry out everyday tasks like boiling a kettle, by flashing up ‘how to’ videos when their phone scans an object. 

The videos not only provide prompts of daily routines – how to make a cup of tea or take a bath – but can also remind people with dementia of forgotten memories, with loved ones being able to record an explanation of a photo, and the memory it captures. 

Smartphone app

This type of technology is particularly important as our research shows that the number of people with dementia who are currently living alone (120,000 people) is set to double in the next 20 years.

Accelerating innovation to transform the lives of people affected by dementia

‘How Do I’ is the first of a number of projects we will be supporting in the coming years through our Accelerator programme. The programme, which received nearly 50 applications, invites as many people as possible – from all backgrounds and occupations - to develop products and services that will support people to live well and independently with dementia.

Our Innovation team will be accepting applications to our Accelerator programme again in the autumn.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said:

Technology and innovation has the power to transform lives, and we want to harness this power for the 850,000 people living with dementia across the UK. 

'While we work tirelessly to find a cure for this devastating disease, technologies like How Do I? can help improve care and lives for everyone living with dementia today.

'Through assistive technology we can transform our understanding of how to best manage dementia - but we need everyone to take part to help us find the most promising and revolutionary ideas.'

Taryl Law CEO & Co-founder of How Do I? and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Taryl Law, CEO & Co-founder of How Do I? and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at the Alzheimer's Society annual conference.

Why we selected ‘How Do I?’

Our panel of experts and people affected by dementia selected How Do I? to receive £100,000 through our Accelerator programme. This funding will enable the team to speed up the development process and make the app available to the people who need it sooner.

The How Do I? team demonstrated a personal and professional commitment to making life better for people affected by dementia. Their app has the potential to keep people with dementia living at home for longer, in a way that promotes independence and self-management. 

Working with people affected by dementia to develop the app

Over the next year we will be working closely with the ‘How Do I?’ team and people affected by dementia, continuing the development of the smartphone app and bringing it to market. We will ensure that the app can, in practice, be used by people affected by dementia and to maximise it’s positive impact.

We’re very excited to see how their innovation progresses and is tailored to support people with dementia to live independently.

Accelerator Programme

Read more about how Alzheimer’s Society is looking to fund innovations and inventions that could help people affected by dementia live better.

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3 comments

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My husband missed out on this kind of gaget.
He was unable to work any techie thing like the TV remote, the telephone, a tablet/radio before he lost the ability of tea making.

One of the first skills my husband lost was the ability to use his iPhone and iPad so I'm not sure how this would have helped.

Wouldn't printed cards for each 'how do I' item work better than techno in this instance. Apart from losing the card, of course, it doesn't need any other skills....even if reading is difficult a picture is worth a thousand words anyway. We over-think things sometimes, don't we?

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