Memrica; a tech start-up based at the Innovation Birmingham Campus has reached the finals of the national Care and Dementia Show’s Start-Up Academy, taking place at the NEC today and tomorrow (3rd and 4th November).
Memrica is developing an app for people with memory problems – including the early stages of dementia – called ‘Memrica Prompt’. Designed to reduce the anxiety and frustration caused by forgetting essential information, the app intelligently prompts users about people, places, events and tasks when needed, to help them make the most of each day. Family and carers can send messages and reminders and see when they’ve been read.
Over one million people in the UK and 75 million people worldwide are predicted to have dementia by 2030. Memrica will join many other tech and healthcare suppliers at the Care and Dementia Show to profile the increasing range of solutions that are available to support those working in care today: housing providers, local authorities and care and health professionals. Other exhibitors from Birmingham include Eyeway Signs who produce dementia friendly signage and evacuation chair specialists Evac+Chair International.
Chris Edwards, Event Director for UBM’s Care and Dementia Show comments: “Innovators in technology and practical medical solutions from across the country will join suppliers of bathing, furniture and evacuation chairs, health and safety and professional services – a wealth of choice for all involved in addressing the needs of those affected by dementia at this year’s national Care and Dementia Show.”
The Memrica Prompt tablet and smartphone app is being designed and developed in collaboration with people with dementia, their carers and clinical experts. A pilot population of those with early stage dementia –particularly people under 65, who enjoy using smartphone and tablet apps and already have an iPhone or iPad – has been testing the app.
Mary Matthews, Founder of Memrica said: “44 million people worldwide currently live with dementia and this number is expected to triple by 2050. Eight per cent of those diagnosed with dementia are under 65. However, when it comes to using technology, research from Deloitte suggests that by 2020, the gap between smartphone and tablet usage for the over 65’s and younger generations will be negligible.
“Memrica Prompt is a memory aid that can be built over time with photos, prompts, references and calendar notes to make all aspects of everyday life easier, such as going to the hairdresser or doctors, as well as relating to family and friends. Each subscription package gives access to up to five users, enabling loved ones and carers to contribute information to the app.”
Organisations that have already had input into the development of Memrica include Young Dementia UK, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Worcestershire Early Intervention and Manchester Early Onset Dementia Services.
Memrica is one of 20 early stage tech companies receiving support from Innovation Birmingham’s ‘e4f Inspire’ programme, which delivers a series of workshops, keynote events, entrepreneur dinners, off-site visits, funded internship/apprenticeship placements, and peer group sessions, in order to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial tech companies.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “Mary and her team have developed a new application in an area that is completely underserviced. The amount of interest from organisations such as Bupa, Young Dementia, Alzheimer’s Society and a number of NHS Trusts is very pleasing to see. The financial support earlier this year from Nominet Trust to get the Memrica Prompt app to this stage has been vital, and the importance of such funding to provide grants for ‘Tech for Good’ initiatives such as this cannot be underestimated.”