Maxis’ new tech aims to help dementia patients revisit their memories

Dementia is a topic that hits close to the heart for many, this writer included. According to the World Health Organisation, symptoms of the debilitating condition include “deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities”, with around 50 million people in the world suffering from the condition. In fact, says that there are 10 million new cases every year, which points to an ongoing problem.

recently launched some new technology with the purpose of helping elderly Malaysians with dementia and their loved ones to “capture favourite moments”, and to use technology to help with an increasingly worrying worldwide issue according to the Alzheimer's Disease Foundation, there could be more than 260,000 dementia in Malaysia by 2030.

Their new app, RE:Collection, is available on iOS and Android, and is a data-driven app that can be customised with images and videos (or “moments”) to help elderly Malaysians with the condition to reminisce about their favourite moments while helping caretakers to understand what “memory triggers” matter the most to their loved ones.

Maxis says that reminiscence therapy has been found to have a “strong therapeutic effect” on dementia patients, and the app is a way to use data and technology to aid with a process that has been mostly manual for many caregivers prior to this. Basically, the app will allow patients to view past memories in photo/video form, while caregivers have access to analytics and insights to help understand why certain memory triggers are more important to patients.

Meanwhile, Maxis is also rolling out an update to the update next week that will bring an augmented reality feature to the app. This will work with videos (or memories) playing when the app's AR camera is pointed at a certain physical photograph.

UnforgetTABLE: A Smart Table

We also got a chance to look at the UnforgetTABLE Smart Table, which is powered by Maxis 5G. In collaboration with Ministry XR, the table also serves to help with patients suffering from dementia. The way it works, a patient wears an EEG sensor (for brainwaves), and places an NFC-enabled object on the Smart Table.

The table then plays generic footage related to the object on a screen set in the middle of the table, and the EEG sensor-wearing patient is then monitored while watching the video(s). The results are then shown on a separate display, which calculates how the patient felt throughout the video: anxious, nostalgic, sad, relaxed, and so on.

The table works with both 4G and 5G despite the “Powered by Maxis 5G” banner. Tai Kam Leong, Head of Branding and Marketing at Maxis, explains that the table is merely a prototype, although with more and more IoT devices becoming available, the benefits of 5G will become more apparent.

The Smart Table is open to the public at the Maxis Centre in KLCC from today, although there aren't any plans to make the Smart Table commercially available anytime soon. You can download the RE:Collection app on Android and iOS devices on the Google Play Store and the App Store, although the app will not be available on the Huawei AppGallery for Huawei devices that do not support Google Mobile Services (GMS).

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