In Irvine, CA, Kenneth Shinozuka spends many days visiting with his beloved grandfather, Deming, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. Kenneth walks and sings with Deming quite often, and his experience with his grandfather inspired him to create a device that would, ultimately, change the face of Alzheimer’s patients’ care forever.
On many occasions, Alzheimer’s patients have been known to wonder off or leave their homes or rooms, which can be very dangerous due to the disorientation that is associated with the disease. Mr. Shinozuka created a sensor that is worn on the bottom of the foot, in a shoe or on a sock.
This sensor alerts caregivers to unusual movements of the patients by sending an alert to a computer or smartphone. This revolutionary device will, essentially, make it easier for caregivers to keep track of their patients or loved ones. There are similar devices currently being used with such patients, but current technology dictates the use of cumbersome wires and loud alarms that are disturbing to other patients. Mr. Shinozuka’s invention eliminates these issues.
It’s currently being tested on patients at a facility called Irvine Cottages that is hone to people suffering from this debilitating disease. So far, there have been no false alarms, and the caretakers think very highly of the new technology.
At 15 years old, Kenneth’s innovative design landed him an internship with Jim McAleer at the Alzheimer’s association as well as a “Science in Action” award from Scientific American Magazine coupled with a $50,000 prize. He hopes to pursue his education with a career in neuroscience, while specializing in engineering and computer science. He says he would like to, one day, cure Alzheimer’s disease with his research and future inventions, and make great strides in research related to mental illnesses suffered by the aging community.
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