More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and families spend more than $5,000 a year caring for someone with the condition.
Emma Yang, 12 years old, and her family is living in New York, but her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, is living in Hong Kong. Emma knows the struggles of having a loved one deal with the disease, and in an interview with Tech50 Plus, Emma shared, “Distance is not the only problem, but [grandma’s] illness is also preventing us from staying connected with each other.”
The 12-year-old decided to develop Timeless, an app that would help those who suffer from Alzheimer’s remember special events, dates, and faces of friends and family.
“My idea will allow them to sustain their independence and happiness, even if they may not necessarily be able to be cured of their condition.”
According to Emma, she named the app as such because “Alzheimer’s patient too should be able to cherish the timeless moments in life.”
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In creating the app, Emma was helped by her father who is working as a software engineer. She was also supported by a doctor that specializes in Alzheimer’s disease. The app is the first to directly address the problems of memory loss and confusion that Alzheimer patients experience. The app includes features such as facial recognition, using the platform Kairos, to help the patient remember loved ones; a “Today” section that shows a schedule for the day including the time, date, weather forecast, and events; a notification system that helps the patient avoid repetitive calls; and a “Me” section consisting of important information about the identity of the patient.
The 12-year-old recently received one of the awards for the Ten Under Twenty innovation awards at the 2016 CE Week conference and has been awarded a Michael Perelstein Discover Your Passion Scholarship last year which financially helps her in developing her app. She has a fully functional prototype at the moment, but she is still in the process of fully developing it and hopes to launch the app by the end of the year.
Emma’s innovation of the app is such a great breakthrough of technology being used to help solve mental health issues, and it coming from a brilliant mind of a 12-year-old makes it more inspiring and amazing.
Learn more about Emma Yang’s Timeless app in the video below.