From left: Shayla Devonish (MHI), Oleksandra Sydorenko, Sheena Melwani (MHI), Jyotheeswar Arvind (MScAC) and Vishal Raheja (MScAC) (photo courtesy of HackerNest/DementiaHack)
From November 7 to 9, DementiaHack by HackerNest asked teams to produce products that would improve the lives of those living with dementia – a brain disease that affects the memory, thinking, and behaviour of an estimated 47.5 million people worldwide.
The event was sponsored by Facebook and supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the British Government, and the Province of Ontario. And the app developed by one U of T team won its members an invitation to Silicon Valley.
“With 750,000 Canadians living with dementia alone, we wanted to help those individuals stay safe, and live independently, longer,” said Jyotheeswar Arvind, a graduate student in our master of science in applied computing (MScAC) program.
In just 30 hours, Arvind and his group developed TakeMeHome, a mobile navigation application for those living with dementia.
“The application is two-fold, for both the individual and caregiver,” said teammate and MScAC graduate student, Vishal Raheja. “The caregiver can help support their loved-one by setting locations and geo-location reminders. The person with dementia can then use their app to easily navigate with directions that are further contextualized by familiar locations.”
By the end of the two-day hack, the team took home the category prize in the area of solutions for Diagnosed Individuals, and the Facebook prize, which includes a trip to Silicon Valley to tour Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Oculus headquarters.
Read the full story about the team's win at U of T News