Students at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) developed the prototype of a mat that informs, via text messages to the caregiver’s mobile phone, if his Alzheimer’s disease patient is at the door trying to leave his home.
The model, made at the IPN’s Center for Science and Technology Studies No. 18, seeks to provide security and tranquility to those responsible for Alzheimer’s patients.
The electronic device is made in Arduino —an open source computer hardware and software company, project, and user community that designs and manufactures single-board microcontrollers and microcontroller kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control objects in the physical world— explained Luis Mario Trejo Hinojosa, one of the makers of the product.
The student now at first semester of Mechatronics at the IPN’s Interdisciplinary Professional Unit of Engineering (UPIIZ), Campus Zacatecas said the mat senses the patient using magnets or chips that are placed on the soles of the shoes of the patient.
Therefore, the product only identifies the owner of those shoes. Furthermore, another sensor identifies if the patient opened the door to leave the place.
“It does not make a tracking of the person in real time, it simply provides timely notice of the departure of the person,” he said.
The student said that although there are several devices on the market to locate the patient, they usually have a high price, so they created an economical alternative.
The students now work on the registration of their product, and thanks to having received the Polytechnic Entrepreneurship Award 2017 “Solutions for the Future”, the IPN’s Incubation Center advice the team on legal procedures and technological development.
“As of today we have a fully functional prototype. I hope that with the support we got by this first place, along with the advice we will receive, we get to start a business and offer it to the Mexican market as a viable product,” he said.
However, the students are seeking funding or support to launch the product to the market. The mat, according to the IPN, would cost to the public about 1,300 pesos (USD66.7).