Team Name: The Little Experience


This is inspired by my parents-in-law. When I first met them, they were living independently in a retirement village, in a two bedroom townhouse in Noosa, QLD. They were mobile, able to go to the shops, cook for themselves and Grandpa (as my kids call him) was always on the computer, learning new skills and exploring new business venture. Very quickly their health started to deteriorate and they were less and less capable of taking care of themselves; their health and independence deteriorate rapidly.

Fast forward 10 years. They are in a nursing home. Granny doesn't get out of bed and Grandpa has dementia. We are 1,600 km from them and communication is limited to occasional visit and phone calls - if the phone connection hasn't been ripped out of the wall "accidentally" by Grandpa.

How can we "see" them more often? How can they feel like someone is there caring for them even when we are not there? How can they regain more confidence and maybe, even more, interaction (besides the staff and patients in the nursing home) with the outside world and their family? How can we make sure all their medical history, medications, hospital visits, reasons for visits, etc. are available when required? Most importantly, how can we make sure they are happy and safe!

What it does

As a Companion...

  • How are you feeling today?
  • Have you taken your medication?
  • Would you like to hear the news?
  • Today we are going to see Dr. xxx at 2:00 pm.
  • I haven't heard from you this morning. Please call out to me so I know you are ok.

For a Peace of Mind...

  • Sending regular feedback to individual appointed by Customer e.g. notification sent to appointed family members when medication is taken, how Customer is feeling (sad, happy, okay, ordinary, etc.)
  • Contact appointed individual when Customer failed to respond after 3 prompts to call out to SANDY

We can never replace Human Interaction and should never do so. However, if I can't be there for my loved ones, I want to know how they are going and that they can (no matter what state of their physical and mental health) call out to someone and help will be there.

How I built it

  • to build the prototype i.e. phone app.

Challenges I ran into

Our strength is in building business cases, problem-solving, number crunching. Mainly the business side of things. In order to build the desired prototype, we should ideally have an additional person strong in software/apps development.

To push prototype into production, we would consider adding artificial specialists, cognitive specialists, and coders to make it more user-friendly, socially-aware and responsive in reacting to the Customer we are targeting.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

This is an idea we have been talking about for awhile but running the daily mouse wheel of work, family, and other mundane chores, we have not been able to dedicate time or energy to pursue further.

What I learned

What's next for SANDY

Linking SANDY to existing apps such as UBER - to bring the Customer from home to destination and back home - integrating CALENDAR with UBER to automatically retrieve drop off address; remember the HOME address to bring Customer back home. This is especially important for people with dementia.

GPS tracking to ensure appointed individual can locate the Customer at all times.

Linking to COLES/WOOLWORTH online to assist in buying groceries.

Linking to MEDICARE information for health information; pharmacy for medication information; GP for health information; hospital for admission/ED information - to provide a central location for managing Customer's health care and well being.

The opportunity for SANDY is limitless.

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