A teenager from New York, whose grandfather suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, took home the Scientific American Science in Action Award for his invention to aid those with the disease. Kenneth Shinozuka, 15, created wearable sensors that send mobile alerts when a dementia patient begins to wander away from bed, officials of the contest said.
Shinozuka says his invention was based on his grandfather’s symptoms which caused him to wander in the middle of the night and hurt himself. “I will never forget how deeply moved my entire family was when they first witnessed my sensor detecting Grandfather’s wandering,” Shinozuka said in a statement. “At that moment, I was struck by the power of technology to change lives.”
The invention uses coin-sized sensors that are placed on the feet. These sensors can detect pressure caused when the patient stands up and in turn, triggers an alert that is sent to the caregiver’s smartphone using the app.
Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina said that the award honors a project that aims to “make a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge.” Shinozuka is also entered and has been chosen to compete as a finalist in the Google Science Fair, the Scientific American publication said in a statement.