Who knew spending the weekend immersed in dementia concepts could be so stimulating!!!
I spent the weekend meeting wonderful people, learning new definitions/concepts and a new language such as ‘repositories, source code/asset archives Full-Stack C# developer Java C#, C ++. Python, PHP, SQL’.
In return, I shared the concerns and challenge that I see working with those with dementia and their family caregivers at the amazing DementiaHackathon. The goal of dementiahack is “to enable the development of life-improving products that’ll make the world a little lighter for those affected by dementia — today”.
I spent the weekend talking with over 300 creative, thoughtful and amazing participants (majority in their 20’s) who spent an intense 30 hours (yes, working overnight!) developing an idea and prototype that will improve the lives of those with dementia and those around who love and care for them.
Sponsor Jordan Banks, (Face Book Canada Managing Director ) kicked off the event with the inspiration to be ‘Be Bold’ and Make An Impact’ while Kevin McGurgan, (British Consul General and Director-General for the Department for International Trade in Canada) advised that 1 in 3 residents in the UK either know someone or have been directly impacted by dementia. We know closer to home that we are still working on a Canadian and Ontario Dementia Strategy and we still have no cure for a disease, which I believe is becoming our biggest health challenge.
Mentoring on Saturday was stimulating and amazing. The participants’ enthusiasm charged the entire Mars auditorium. Choosing the semi finalists was no easy task and I was amazed and excited by the wonderful and thoughtful applications presented, ranging from memory reminders, environmental sensors, arts applications, wandering and safety applications, mental health and caregiver burnout trackers, early detection systems, diagnostic tools, and caregiver tracking and planning devices.
The grand prize winning team was ‘Momentum’ and their product ‘Memo’ which is a personal assistant that ‘collects and analyzes patient data through natural voice which will enable researchers to track the patient’s progress through the result of Memo’.
An inspiring weekend and I very much look forward to seeing many of these applications be available in the market place soon! We are the ones who will benefit from many of these thoughtful designs and in my opinion we are all winners.