As many of us know all too well, Alzheimer's is a relentless disease that robs millions of people of their memories. This memory loss can beÂ frustrating not only for those suffering from the disease but for their caregivers as well.
Meet 12-year-old Emma Yang. The tween has created the first app designed specifically for Alzheimer's patients.Â The inspiration for herÂ app, "Timeless," came from Yang's desire toÂ better connect with her grandmother, a victim of Alzheimer's disease. With Yang living in New York and her grandmother in Hong Kong, communication was already a challenge, and her grandmother's illness only made it worse.Â Yang says she got the ideaÂ for the app after her grandmotherÂ forgot both Emma and her dad's birthdays.
The app aims toÂ ease the daily challenges of life with Alzheimer's. As theÂ Good News NetworkÂ reports, the app has facial recognition software to help patients remember names, a "Today" section that offers the time, date, weather and calendar events all in one place, plus other helpful features like a notification system that lets users know if they're trying to call someone they've contacted within the last five minutes. There's also an "about you" section that tells the user important details about him/herself.
To create Timeless, Yang spoke with dozens of elderly victims of Alzheimer's to create solutions to their daily frustrations.Â Yang explains that she designed the app to let technology do what it does best: solve problems that we simply can't.
"The potential for technology to be able to help my grandmother, and others suffering from Alzheimer's along the way, is what inspired me to create Timeless," Yang told Tech50+. "Because despite the difficulties of the illness, Alzheimer's patient too should be able to cherish the timeless moments in life".
Yang was awarded one of the "10Under20" innovation awards at the 2016 CE Week conference in June. While the app is still in the development stages, she hopes to have itÂ out by the end of the year.