Samsung has released an app for people with Alzheimer's called Backup Memory, which was developed by employees of Samsung Electronics Tunisia (SETN). SETN Marketing Manager for Mobile Products Azer Jaafoura led the project.
“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,” Jaafoura said in a statement. “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.”
Backup Memory, available in French and English on Android smartphones, is designed for people who are showing early signs of Alzheimer's stimulate specific memories. The app helps patients stay aware of their immediate surroundings by identifying nearby family members -- those within a 33 foot radius. The family member will have to have a version of the app downloaded on their phone as well.
The app also reminds patients about their relationship with each family member by showing the user photographs and videos of past experiences they shared with their family member. This media is manually synced with the app before use.
The Tunisian Alzheimer’s Association conducted initial tests of the app.
“Backup Memory is not exactly a technological breakthrough, but it is definitely a good use of existing technology,” Jaafoura said. “We are satisfied with the progress so far, but we’d like to do more. There is so much good you can do with technology, and I’d like to think that we’re just getting started.”
In future iterations, the group plans to add a feature that uses GPS to help family members keep track of the person with Alzheimer's.