With the need for helping people with early-stage Alzheimer’s or related dementia and the growing popularity of tablets, the Memo Touch system was created to use off-the-shelf technology and retool it for a specific need.
Through Memo Touch, patients, family members and caregivers can add calendar events, phone numbers and to-do items such as medication reminders. They can also share photos or personalized messages which let them maintain a social life and stay in contact with others.
All this can be managed from Memo Touch’s web site. The goal is to keep seniors with dementia informed and to manage their everyday activities while maintaining their independence. It also helps families and caregivers avoid excessive worry and to save time in calls and visits for everyday activities.
In addition, the system is highly portable (with a long-run battery and access to wireless) and easy to use for the elderly.
“The Memo software is not an “app” and is not designed to be used on other devices,” said Merilee Griffin, President of Memo Touch. “It overrides all the features on the tablet so that an elder who has no computer knowledge cannot get confused. This is essential, because learning new technology becomes very difficult. The tablet was designed to be successful even with people who have never used a computer.”
The system is available on the Android Archos 101 tablet, which costs between $269.99 to $299.99. Regarding the Memo Touch’s pricing, it costs $299 and requires a six-month or 12-month subscription.
A potential drawback is Memo Touch’s requirement for wireless Internet access. In addition, patients, families and caregivers must understand that Memo Touch was designed for elders with short-term memory loss and it is not sufficient for more advanced stages of dementia.
While Memo Touch was designed to be an integrated OS-like system, many other pill reminder mobile applications exist such as My Meds by Drugs.com ($0.99) and Todo by Appigo ($4.99), for example. These are available for Apple’s iPhone and iPad and can represent a possible solution for smaller budgets. However, these apps do not replace all the functions of Memo Touch.
In a nutshell, the combination of human services with technology can tremendously improve the life of the elderly with memory loss in that it allows them to manage their daily activities longer and maintain a soul-sustaining social life.
This article has initially been posted by Lena Baudo on December 8th, 2011 on Opinno‘s blog (Open Innovation).