Wednesday, February 8, 2012

ALZ-locate – Android App to Find Wandering Alzheimer’s Patients

In general cases, in spite of medical efforts, Alzheimer‘s disease (AD) gradually gets worse over time, affecting patient’s memory, thinking, and behavior more and more. People that are affected have known to have a tendency to wander around, either around the house or even outside, away from their family and friends. It is common for them to become disoriented and not find their way back home.

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There are multiple developed applications for dedicated positioning devices, which help to locate the missing person and return him/her home safely. The application, developed for Android Smartphones, is designed to assist caregiver to locate the wondering or lost Alzheimer’s patient fast and efficiently.

The system uses any Android phone, currently available on the market that the patient always carries with him. To assure that the phone will not be lost or misplaced, it should be secure attached to the clothes, or maybe even sewn into a pocket.

The phone updates a web-based database of patient’s position approximately every 10 minutes, using the built-in GPS. If the wanderer does not return when expected, the caregiver or family member may simply log-in and check the developers’ website for the patient’s current location. There might be several “watchers” assigned to the same account, so this check can be performed by any registered account user.

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The solution however will require some monetary investment. First, you need to purchase an Android smart phone with a small data plan for the patient. Then you can download a free ALZ-locate app from the Android Market and install it on this device. Then you can register as a watcher and get other involved in caregiving people registered as watchers too.

While the application is free to install, the use is associated with certain fee - $20 for 2-year plan.
Before buying the service plan, you get two weeks of free trial to see if it works for you. After two years you will be able to extend the service for 2 more years paying another $20.

If you decide later to stop using the app, or you would like to switch to another utility, you can un-install it from the phone at any time.

Video Presentation:

System requirements: Android 1.5 and later

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