“With the ageing population growing exponentially around the world each year, this app could help elderly people keep their independence for longer.”
Four years ago, our mother Helene was diagnosed with severe auto-immune neuropathy. At the time we were juggling study and work, and we suddenly found ourselves facing the constant worry that mum might fall when we weren’t there with her. When Mum got a smartwatch, we were so happy because she wore it all the time and we knew that if she had a fall, she could call us using the watch, even if she wasn’t able to get to her phone. Suddenly, we had a eureka moment: What if there was a way we could be notified immediately and automatically if mum had a fall, so that she didn’t even need to call us? What if there was a way that we could know she needed our help, even if she had been knocked unconscious?
We did extensive research, and realised there were no apps available on the market with those specific functionalities. At the same time, we discovered that devices like the Apple Watch can read the body’s vital signs and interpret them via algorithms. We ran the idea past Mum, who is an expert in digital technologies, and also by her neurologist, Professor Bruce James Brew.
Professor Brew was excited to get on board, having already thought about a similar concept himself. Realising the idea’s immense potential to save lives.