Upwards of 5 million people live with Alzheimer's Disease in America alone. While at Stanford University, I worked with a groups of students to better understand how technology can be used to aid in slowing the progression of this disease.
Interviews were conducted with Alzheimer's patients, doctors, and family members to understand the challenges of the disease. Two main points stood out. First, doctors monitor the progression of the disease at 3 month intervals. Patient stress and the length of time between checkups make it challenges to get a clear understanding of how the disease is evolving for an individual. Second, it is recommended that patients play memory games to slow the progression of the disease however these games are often designed for children leading to embarrass for the patient when using them.
Synapse addresses the challenges of mentioned above in multiple ways. It is a modern day memory game to track the progression of Alzheimer's on a daily basis. The tool tracks the time and number of flips it takes to complete a game and automatically uploads the data to the cloud. Data can be shared with caretakers and doctors to track the disease. The photo frames, which make up the game pieces, can help individuals remember the people, events, and places that mean the most to them and be placed around the house as decoration when not in use.
I designed the unique method for electronically recognizing each tile and it's match. I designed the board game aesthetic and fabricated all of the components using a ShopBot CNC router and woodworking skills. I created the 3D CAD model and 3D printed the electronics housing. Finally, I designed the electronic circuitry for Synapse.