PINPOINT is a home system designed to monitor the location of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Consisting of a wearable tracker, home sensors, and mobile app, it provides caregivers with a system to help monitor their loved one’s movements throughout the day.
Out of the estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease, approximately 5.2 million are over the age of 65. By 2025, it is projected that number will rise to 7.1 million. Given the rapidly growing at risk population, it is important to develop solutions that will enable individuals to live comfortably and safely in their homes for as long as possible.
6 in 10 people with Alzheimer's will wander
Wandering is a common issue among people with Alzheimer's disease and can occur at any stage of the disease. Individuals become disoriented and lost, even in places that are familiar to them. Individuals are commonly found within 1.5 miles of the location from where they disappeared. Due to confusion, they are often unable to ask for help, which leaves them vulnerable. If a person is not found within 24 hours, up to half who wander will suffer serious injury or death.
Because wandering can occur at any stage of the disease, it is especially dangerous for individuals who are in the early or middle stages of the disease that are not under 24-hour supervision. This can add a tremendous amount of stress on the caregiver. With this in mind, I wanted to design a home system that would provide a way to monitor the location of a loved one.
Current Solutions for Wandering
Throughout my research, I found that establishing a routine for individuals with Alzheimer's was extremely important. A daily schedule provides structure and often reduces a patient's agitation and improves mood. Looking at the current solutions for wandering, I decided to develop a system that combines GPS tracking and home signal devices. In addition, I designed the mobile app so caregivers can monitor the location of their loved one and gain an understanding of their daily routine and movement patterns.
The wearable tracker is a comfortable everyday bracelet made of a flexible, durable elastomer material and features a surgical-grade stainless steel clasp. The band features a large surface on the front where optional important information can be printed or laser engraved.
The tracker comes with a wireless charging platform and two removable sensors. The water-resistant sensors are made from a thermoplastic and feature an LED display. Having two sensors enables the caretaker to have one sensor charging and ready to go when needed.
The room sensor was designed to be small and discreet when hung in a room. The base is made from plastic and features an RGB color ring with LEDs. This light ring is used to indicate necessary information, such as a sensor malfunction or a low battery change.
Pinpoint's mobile app allows caregivers to monitor the movements of their loved one. The combination of the tracking bracelet and home sensors permits the caregiver to set room alerts, review a history of the individual's movements, view his or her GPS location, and receive location alerts via notifications, text message, or email. Also included in the app is a patient profile that provides important information ranging from current medications to important contact information.