Technology and Dementia: Caring for Our Loved Ones

The Proximity Button is a new and innovative way to keep loved ones living with dementia safer. The Proximity Button is a smart, small badge that is worn by the person with dementia. The Button connects to the carer’s phone via Bluetooth. If the person wearing the Button wanders too far from the carer and their smartphone, it will alarm to alert them. This is a simple and affordable alternative to an ever-present problem.

SD – Hi, could you please introduce yourself?

NP – Hi, my name’s Natalie and I’m the Founder of Proximity Care.

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Natalie Price

SD – Where are you based?

NP- I’m currently based in Soho, London.

SD – What is your background?

NP- I have a strong background in marketing and production. Having worked in a digital marketing agency for the past 4 years, I have a good knowledge of innovative products and services. Proximity was founded after I won a business incubation programme held by my digital marketing agency, TMW Unlimited.

SD – Tell us about the history and idea behind Proximity Care?

NP – The idea for the Proximity Button stemmed from my mum. My mum’s cared for people with dementia for the past 15 years, over the years she’s shared many stories and in doing so highlighted what a real issue wandering is. Having seen her struggle to find a suitable product to help, I knew that there was a real market need for a simple and affordable solution to this problem. Proximity was founded after I won a business incubation programme held by my digital marketing agency, TMW Unlimited. The funding from this competition allowed me to get to proof of concept. I then secured further funding from another investor to develop the software and hardware. Last year I ran a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and raised enough money to successfully get the Proximity Button to market.

SD – How does your solution work?

NP –  The Proximity Button uses innovative Bluetooth technology to provide carers with a low-cost, simple option for keeping their loved ones safer. Rather than being a device to find someone once they’re lost, the Proximity Button acts a warning device to try and prevent the problem from escalating in the first place. The Proximity Button is a smart, small badge that is worn by the person with dementia. The Button connects to the carer’s phone via Bluetooth. If the person wearing the Button wanders too far from the carer and their smartphone, it will alarm to alert them. This is a simple and affordable alternative to an ever-present problem.

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The Proximity Button

SD – How does it benefit patients / carers?

NP – It benefits the person with dementia by keeping them safer and brings peace of mind to the carer, knowing that if the person in their care wanders off and they are wearing the Button, they will know about it far quicker than if they weren’t.

SD – How does Proximity Care differ from other products on the market?

NP – The Button is innovative in its functionality but also in it’s aesthetic value – a small, sleek badge that will not upset the user in anyway and remains securely in place. We believe that traditional pendants and intrusive bracelets are often not suitable for this target market. The Button stands out among the rest due to it’s sheer simplicity. It’s much more affordable than a lot of the options available on the market and it provides a great alternative to GPS tracking which many are uncomfortable with for various reasons.

SD – What are the next steps for Proximity Care?

NP – We believe there is a real market need for a company producing smartly, well-designed products that could enhance their lives. With the innovative world we now live in and with the internet of things ever expanding this is undoubtedly the right time to be developing products that could make lives easier. Not only will we have the Proximity Button but a small range of connected products that allow people to live a better and more independent life.

SD  – What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead?

NP –  Whilst it isn’t our only market, the elderly market are predominately our customers. Naturally, this market aren’t always as ‘tech-savvy’ so it is down to us to educate people as much as possible about how our product will enhance their lives and also to keep them as simple as possible. Over complicating things will only put people off further.

SD – How do people find our more information?

NP- To find out more about Proximity, the best thing for people to do is visit our website www.proximitycare.co.uk or simply connect with me on LinkedIn and we can have a chat, I’m always more than happy to help.

SD – thanks for your time

THE AUTHOR

Paul Budd

Co-Founder and Business Development Director

Paul is an experienced sales & marketing leader within the healthcare sector and is a Co-Founder of Salus Digital. He is a Digital Health enthusiast with a passion for extending the reach of technology to improve patient’s lives and reduce the strain on healthcare services.

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