Timeless is a user-friendly mobile app for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients with four key elements: a photobook, a photo phone list, event reminders, and an AI facial recognition camera. Managed by the patient’s caregiver, Timeless can be accessed with Touch ID or Face ID software- eliminating the need for passwords. Patients’ friends and family can submit photos to the app that will appear in the user’s “Updates” section. Each photo is automatically tagged- using the AI facial recognition software- with the subject’s name and relationship to the patient. Under the “Contact” section in the app, patients can scroll through a photo phone book to choose the person they’d like to call rather than scrolling for a phone number. Lastly, under the “Identify” section, patients can use their phone’s camera to identify a person standing in the same room as them using facial recognition data gathered from the photos submitted in the app.
Still in the first phase of development, Yang’s team is currently seeking to raise $50,000 through crowd funding on the popular site Indiegogo. Yang hopes to accelerate data collection in Timeless and utilize the app as a research platform- tracking and recording memory changes, eye movements, and the user’s navigational skills. Once the fundraising goal has been met, Yang hopes to advance to patient app testing.
Katherine Possin, an associate professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, believes this app will be successful and will support the strengthening of patients’ memories. “I think it can be very helpful for patients to rehearse memories that are important to them–having a chance to rehearse that can strengthen those memories and [increase resilience] in the face of the disease.”
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