After watching her own mother care for people with dementia for over 15 years, a young woman from London was inspired to create a device that would keep people living with dementia safer.
Natalie Price calls her Proximity Button “the first of its kind in the dementia market,” and after two years of development has launched a crowdfunding campaign this week to raise enough money to manufacture the super-simple, yet effective, device.
An affordable solution to guard against wandering, the smart button’s sensor, worn by a person with dementia, connects to a caregiver’s iPhone or Android device and alerts them when the wearer wanders too far away. Because it is not a warning device, rather than a tracking device, it does not rely on expensive technology.
In the UK, dementia affects 850,000 people and more than 60% of these people often wander off and if they’re not found within 24 hours, up to half of individuals end up seriously injured.
“I want everyone to be able to protect the people they care about the most,” Price told Good News Network. “We approached the product and user experience of Proximity with the following principles in mind: simplicity, discretion and affordability.”
Natalie, 25, has a working prototype that has been tested and proven successful using a small battery. Once the crowdfunding campaign is complete, Natalie estimates that the product launch will be as soon as September of this year.
As for the range that sets off the alarm, if you are outdoors in a big open space it will alert you at about 20 meters (65 feet). If you are inside, for example in a busy supermarket, the alarm will go off a lot quicker because walls and people will get in the way of the signal and block it far sooner – around 10 meters (32 feet).
The campaign, which has raised 40 percent of its goal already, gives each early adopter who contributes $65 to the fundraiser one Proximity Button to use with the free app. Two buttons will cost you $99 (£68).
(WATCH her video below, and learn more about the technology on Indiegogo)
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