MemPal: Wearable Cognitive Assistant for Aging Population


Elderly individuals with cognitive impairment (e.g., dementia and Alzheimer's disease) have increasing difficulty with prospective memory and retrospective memory, hindering their abilities to perform daily activities and posing stress on caregivers to continuously monitor patients. However, there are limited technologies that both monitor patient behavior but also provide useful interventions to ensure safety and independence. This project proposes MemPal: a wearable cognitive assistant in the form of camera clip that acts as a memory aid to help individuals with cognitive impairment live more independently at home and reduce caregiver burden. From the patient’s perspective, the system would (1) automatically log daily activities into a virtual diary (2) provide safety reminders and (3) help patients answer questions about their day (e.g., Locations of missing objects, times of past events). From the caregiver and speech pathologist’s perspective, they can ensure that (1) preset safety precautions are met and (2) daily schedules are followed. Lastly, from a physician perspective, MemPal can summarize insights into patient reports that describe patient activity trends at home, allowing physicians to be better informed during diagnosis/treatments. Other implications include using the automated patient diary for cognitive rehabilitation sessions that train patients to improve their memory. Therefore, MemPal's privacy preserving wearable system provides value for the elderly, their caregivers, and physicians to improve holistic dementia care.