Inspiration

In our society today, our smart-connected devices are our planners, our cameras, and our communicators. With goals in mind to make a positive contribution to the health field, we thought of how the integration of technology has already played such a big role and what other potential it offered. We originally conceived the notion of an app that could track what someone with Alzheimer's does or where they go throughout the day via machine-learning and the use of GPS. If the patient forgets what they are doing, the tracking of movement and routine patterns allows the app to automatically suggest what they are probably doing ("suggestion: you are going to the supermarket"). The app would require an account login, which could be administered by the caregiver or close family/friends who have access rights. Furthermore, the caregiver(s) can input tasks or routines that the patient does and where they will go during it. Other aspects such as a family tree and personal facts/info would be integrated as well to provide the necessary information in the case of an emergency and also as a reminder to both the patient and the caregiver. The purpose of the app was to customize it to the patient and have all the necessary information and resources available in order to allow them to remember important aspects of their life while to continuing to live normally.

What it does

We decided to create a web application that was geared more towards the blossoming of potential alleviation for the patient’s Alzheimer's (cognitive impairment). The caregiver and the patient can both use the program via the same account login, and can see quizzes, games, FAQs, reminders, and other personal information and facts. Reminders can be set up by the caregiver and linked with a certain song that can help trigger memories to the patient. Quizzes and games are a way to encourage the patient to remember via a stress-free environment and also reward the patient when they get answers correct. What we integrate in the web app is meant to help maintain or improve the memory of the patient via mental and physical exercise, as well as nutrition and medicinal information.

How we built it

For the front-end, HTML, CSS, JavaScript was used to create the encouraging and calming aesthetic of the web app. For the back-end we used Flask and MySQL to manage the database of all of the accounts and their quiz/game scores, and Python Processing for the facial recognition game.

Challenges we ran into

As a team, we fell into the problem of scaling for our project due to the variety of languages/technologies used. The team consisted of two Computer Science majors, a Business Technology Management major, and a Chemical -Biological Engineer. As a team, we implemented JavaScript, Python, Matlab, HTML, CSS, MySQL and Flask into our projects but it was very hard to scale those different programs into one web application. While this was a challenge, it sparked creativity and increased functionality of the application, which allowed us to not only satisfy the users but surpass their expectations.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We created an application that is not only both relevant in the real world and technically intensive, but also easy for a non-technical user to experience. We are proud of dedicating ourselves to creating an idea created at our first Hackathon but were unable to execute without more advanced knowledge. Furthermore, the real world applicability of developing a tool to alleviate Alzheimer's through an emphasis on memory retention, social interactions, and physical health is important not only to society but also our satisfaction for helping others. Through the utilization of Matlab for data analysis of a patient’s memory retention, the patient, his or her caretaker, and more importantly the person's family know how they are improving one day at a time. While Alzheimer's cannot be prevented or cured, it can be alleviated, and Blossom is the one step towards that process.

What we learned

Through this Hackathon experience and the development of Blossom, as a team we learned about Pipeline. In many cases, our programs consisted of chains of functions arranged that many of the outputs of each element it the input of the next.

What's next for Blossom

This web app can further be developed for other diseases. For example, for people with PTSD, there can be a tab with videos and activities that can be used to calm them down or provide alternative therapy. Given the time constraint of this event, one of the only feasible platforms for creating our program was through a web application. However, due to Alzheimer's patients typically being mutually inclusive with the elderly, we realize that a website is not the most practical solution. In the future, we would want to first expand to a mobile setting, which would already be more convenient than a website. Afterwards, the final stage would be creating a hardware equivalent to replicate similar functionalities of our design but be much more realistic as it could be lightweight and attached to a person. In regards to our goals towards the people's overall improvement of health, a goal for the future would be to further customize the application for a wider array of prominent health concerns.

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