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These Limerick students have developed a device to help track Alzheimer's patients

Alzheimer’s Alert will alert carers to the patient’s movements.
Dec 31st 2017, 4:00 PM 13,627 6


ANYONE CARING FOR a loved one with Alzheimer’s is hugely aware of the need for constant vigilance.

One BT Young Scientist Competition project aims to ease this pressure by alerting carers to the person’s movements.

Alzheimer’s Alert is a tiny low-wattage device developed by Lauren McMahon, Hazel Corbett and Orla Mullane, all first year students from Desmond College in Limerick.

Built-in to a gel insert for a shoe or sock, the device detects when the person wearing it stands up, and transmits a signal to their family members either with an alarm or text message.

The project was inspired by Laura’s own experience with their grandfather.

She explained that by using Alzheimer’s Alert, the person’s carer would know if they have stood up in the middle of the night, preventing the possibility that they might wander.

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Currently the girls are working on miniaturizing the device further to make sure the wearer is less aware they have it on. Another goal is to make it more user friendly – a signal is required to ensure a text message can be sent, but the light confirming that this is active is currently tucked away inside the receiver, meaning it’s not immediately clear if a text message can be sent.

We’ll be checking in again with Lauren, Hazel, and Orla ahead of the competition to see their progress.

Read: This Irish-Indian teenager wants to change the lives of blind children around the world >

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Nicky Ryan


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