App-solutely memorable: Halifax students making tool for those with dementia to access family photos, messages

By: Kashmala Fida For Metro Published on Mon Aug 07 2017

A new Siri-like application to help seniors with dementia or memory loss is in the works thanks to a group of current and former Dalhousie University students.

MyMem is the brainchild of graduate Eric Fisher, and current Masters of Applied Computer Science program students Harish Gopinath, Arun Athisamy, and Aishwarya Ravichandran, who have been working on the app since March.

“Our app enables us to easily access important information and photos by voice command and it requires very little use of technology,” said Fisher, who graduated with a PhD in biochemistry in 2013.

“We want to provide families and caregivers, residences with a private group account within which they can share information.”

Fisher said they wanted to create something that was both helpful and fun to use.

The idea for the app was conceived at an event called Hackathon, put together by Hacking Health, a social organization that works to improve technology development in the health sector.

During his speech, co-founder Luc Sirois mentioned that he wished for his mother to be able to access memories on her phone via Siri.

Fisher said they went with the idea from there.

“Right now we have the prototype. We are developing a version that can be tested by people which will release this fall,” he said.

Fisher said they are reaching out to the public through Kijiji and social media to look for families that could benefit from this app.

They are looking for people, not only to use the app but also to interview and talk about what their problems are on a daily basis, and to get a deeper understanding of the challenges they face.

From the information gathered, they will tailor the app to better help people.

“Their input will help us really make MyMem into something like a real, meaningful, positive impact on people’s lives.”

The application project is part of an Introduction to Innovation Bootcamp out of ShiftKey Labs at the Dalhousie University.

The group recently completed phase one of the bootcamp and are progressing to phase two.

They hope to release a broader version of the app for public use by 2018.

Hacking Health Café – Bringing Innovation to Healthcare

Hacking Health Halifax Café and Chapter Launch

Be a part of the first hacking health chapter in Atlantic Canada!

Hacking Health Cafés are informal meet ups to discuss digital health topics – where people and ideas mingle.

Hacking Health aims to transform healthcare by connection healthcare professionals with designers, developers, innovators and entrepreneurs to build realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line healthcare problems.

We’ll be hosting cafés and workshops leading up to a weekend hack-a-thon in November 2016! Visit http://hackinghealth.ca/city/halifax-canada/ for more details.

Who should attend? Anyone is welcome, so long as you have a passion for innovation and a willingness to share you expertise. Health professionals, hackers and makers, entrepreneurs and innovators – everyone can contribute!

Hackers & Makers

Designers, Developers, UX Researchers, Engineers

Work on meaningful problems. Help improve healthcare. Get connected, and practice your skills.

Health Professionals & Patients

Patients, Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Other Clinicians, Hospitals, I.T.

Collaborate with tech experts to solve problems in healthcare. Let your ideas inspire practical solutions.

Entrepreneurs & Other Stakeholders

Mentors, Investors, Entrepreneurs, Executives

Support and participate in grass-roots, collaborative problem solving to improve the healthcare system.

Where?

GOLDBLOOM ATRIUM
Goldbloom Pavilion, IWK Health Centre
5850/5980 University Avenue
Halifax, NS

Sponsors