Affinity – Create4Dementia Hack

Affinity Mobile App


The Create4Dementia hack event hosted 50+ hackers with skills in software, design and healthcare to develop innovative technologies for those living with dementia in 24 hours. The team from Open Lab – Team Sonar – consisted of Andy Garbett, Ed Jenkins, Dan Richardson, Tom Nappey and Reuben Kirkham were awarded with the ‘Most Provocative Concept’ by the judges for their prototype location tracking and ambient display.

The day began with orientation presentations from leading experts in the field of health research around dementia, local care providers and technologists. During these presentations it became apparent we as care providers and developers of technology are quick to use technology on, rather than with, those living with dementia without considering the impacts this may have. Therefore the Affinity concept aims to turn the tables and enforce that carers use an app that records their location and makes that available to the person living with dementia through an ambient display.

The Affinity prototype consists of an ambient display that can be used as a clock face as well as a display that shows the person living with dementia an abstracted overview of where family members are and how close they might be to their current location. They can then send a notification to the carer’s smartphone who will then be prompted to contact their loved one. The second part of the system is the quantification of care in which care providers are being tracked and statistics are used to critically encourage competition between care providers and empower the person living with dementia.

The concept of tracking the those who track others raised questions around the negative implications of what might happen in the future and opened the debate into how we should proceed in the area of tracking those living with dementia.

Create4Dementia Open Lab Team