A group of Nigerian teenagers in Ireland have developed an app that uses music to comfort those living with dementia.
Rachel, Margaret, and Joy were worried about how people with dementia were coping during the lockdown, so they decided to design and code Memory Haven.
The app has already won a prize at the prestigious technology competition, Technovation, an international competition that challenges young women to develop an app that can solve a problem in their community. The annual competition is hosted by Technovation, a nonprofit organization that empowers girls to become leaders in tech.
The girls were guided by project mentor Evelyn Nomayo, an Afro-Irish developer and the founder of Phase Innovate, an organization that trains and mentors underrepresented minorities and women in tech.
Nomayo told them about her mother, who experienced dementia, and that inspired the teens, who live in Drogheda, Ireland, to create an app that could help with the disorder.
The 12-week challenge resulted in Memory Haven, which beat out more than 1,500 submissions from 62 countries.
Memory Haven has a half-dozen feature targeting memory loss and speech and recognition problems – all of which are key issues faced by people with dementia.
Memory Haven can be used by both patients and caregivers. Its six features target three problems faced by those with dementia: memory loss and difficulty with recognition and speech. A reminder feature, for example, alerts both the patient and caregiver that it’s time for medication, while photo albums allow users to flip through tagged photos identifying who is in the image.