A TMW Unlimited employee has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £14,000 to bring her low-cost tech device for people with dementia and their carers to market.
Creative production assistant Natalie Price (pictured far left), who won TMW’s business incubation programme, was inspired to create the device that would keep people living with dementia safer after having watched her own mother care for people with dementia for over 15 years.
Through Project Iliad, the business incubation programme run by TMW, Price secured funding last year to get her to the proof of concept stage for the Proximity Button – an piece of technology providing carers with an affordable solution to protect people living with dementia from wandering.
With her Indiegogo campaign Price hopes to raise enough money to manufacture her product and change the lives of thousands of people around the world.
The smart Proximity Button Bluetooth sensor, worn by a person with dementia, connects to a carer’s iPhone or Android device via a specially created Proximity app and alerts them when the wearer of the Button wanders too far.
The Button is not a tracking device, and therefore does not rely on expensive technology. The sole aim with the Button is to alert the carer to wandering.
Price has a working prototype that has been tested on real people and has proved successful. Once the crowdfunding campaign is complete, she estimates product launch will be in September 2016.
Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK and more than 60% of these people wander. If they are not found within 24 hours, up to half of individuals end up seriously injured and in some instances have a fatal accident.
Price said: “I believe that everyone should be able to protect the people they care about the most. We approached the product and user experience of Proximity with the following principles in mind: simplicity, discretion and affordability.”
James Ashwell, the founder of online marketplace of products and services for dementia and memory loss, Unforgettable.org, said: “There are a few tracking products available in the market, but they use expensive technology. I’m excited about Proximity because it’s unlike other products out there; it’s a simple solution to help keep people safer at a much more affordable price point.”
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