Irish schoolgirls in world tech finals for invention which supports dementia patients

Irish schoolgirls in world tech finals for invention which supports dementia patients

A GROUP of Nigerian-Irish schoolgirls have made it to the finals of a prestigious tech competition for their invention which aims to support those living with dementia.

Teenagers Rachael Akano (16), Margaret Akano (17) and Joy Njekwe (17), from Drogheda, under the mentorship of tech expert Evelyn Nomayo have made it to the  Technovation Girls world finals with their 'Memory Haven' app.

As reported by The Irish Times, Memory Haven aims to support patients living with dementia by helping them with memory loss challenges such as recognising friends and relatives as well as communicating their needs through speaking.

The app works by registering a dementia patient, relative or doctor, and the patient's doctor can easily view patient details, chat with the patient and schedule appointments, and a Memory Game feature allows the patient to test and improve their memory.

The patient can use the app to view pictures and videos of their lives to potentially trigger old memories, and can set tasks, called Reminder Alerts, to remind them of what they need to do on a particular day.

Proud mentor Ms Nomayo, who has a master's degree in computer science from University College Dublin, a master's in web technology from National College Ireland and who is a PhD research fellow in Trinity College, told The Irish Times that "in the near future, a lot of social problems will be resolved using technology".

"That's my goal- using an app to solve social problems."

Rachael, Margaret and Joy chose their project after losing a family member to Alzheimer's, and hope their app-- which is expected to launch in the US and Europe through the help of Microsoft-- can help other families affected by the disease.

But the Drogheda-based team need the help of the Irish people to win the competition.

There are just a few hours left until the polls close, and to help the team-- and dementia patients across the world-- you can cast your vote for the Memory Haven app here.