Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

An Indian teen invented a gadget that brought immense hope to dementia care. This gadget helps in assisting people with Alzheimer’s disease, especially those who like to wander around but always end up getting lost.

17-year-old Hemesh Chadalavada’s useful invention was inspired by his grandmother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, also known as dementia. He never knew the weight of the disease until he spent his summer with his grandmother in 2018.

Indian teen Chadalavada receives an award for his invention.

One night, she went to the kitchen to make tea and returned to her bedroom. When Chadalavada went to the kitchen, he was shocked to see that his grandmother left the gas on. This was when he realized the repercussions of having Alzheimer’s.

“She had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but I was still in shock. What would have happened if I hadn’t been there?” Since then, Chadalavada couldn’t help but worry about his grandmother’s situation.

Hampshire Chadalavada was one of Samsung's top 10 solvers.

“She used to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning and go outside, thinking she was on a train,” shared Chadalavada. His grandmother was a successful civil servant who was always on the go.

When her symptoms got worse, that’s when he decided he had to do something to help her as well as other dementia patients. He also empathized with other families as he learned about their similar struggles.

“There was one family that searched high and low for their father for two years after he wandered off. They never found him. In the end, they gave up,” Chadalavada said.

Hemesh receives a grant for his invention that aims to help dementia care.

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To have a deeper understanding of dementia care, he spent days in a day center, observing people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The center’s co-founder Bala Tripuna Sundari advised him that the device he should make had to be “something light that can be worn on any part of the body.” “Many patients don’t like having to wear a watch and they take it off,” she said.

Despite his heavy workload at school, he started watching robotics videos on YouTube and taught himself how to make a device. He made 20 prototypes of this device before he finally manufactured it.

Chadalavada’s device called Alpha Monitor can be worn as an armband or a badge by the patient. When the wearer moves, it sets off an alarm and notifies the caregiver when the patient falls or wanders off.

Hemesh was recognized by India's prime minister for his purposeful invention.

Most similar devices run on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi also have these functions but the connection is lost when the patient moves out of the range vicinity.

With Chandalavada’s invention, the caregiver can monitor the patient from one mile in cities and three miles in the countryside. This was made possible by long-range technology or LoRa,  a physical proprietary radio communication technique.

The monitor has other useful features such as measuring pulse and temperature and reminding patients when to take medication.

While the device is useful and convenient as it is, Chadalavada wants to improve it more. He wants to add another feature that allows the device to predict a patient’s movement patterns. He plans to do it using machine-learning technology.

Hemesh receives an unstoppable21 award by the Times of Jndia.

Chadalavada’s ground-breaking invention made him reap some awards such as the prestigious #Unstoppable21 Award by the Times of India.

He also won a 10m rupee (£100,000) grant from the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. He beat 18,000 other entries in this competition which also gave him the chance to be mentored by Samsung’s top engineers.

When he was 12, Chandalavada also invented a heat detector to monitor the temperature of his friends while he was playing cricket. “We all loved playing cricket, even in the summer heat, but many of my friends would get sick,” he said.

“I wanted something that allowed us to maximize our fun by playing for the longest possible time by knowing when we should stop because our bodies were overheating.”

Hemesh plans to improve his invention and hopes that it may transform dementia care.

Chandalavada is one genius, talented, and caring teenager who has the potential to create more useful innovations. Kudos to this young man for sharing his creativity with the world and for improving dementia care, one invention at a time!

Below is a quick demonstration video of Chandalavada’s invention, Alpha Monitor:

By Admin