22 Apr 2007   |   News

Dundee: commercial prospects for dementia device

Partnership Opportunity


The University of Dundee is looking for partnership to commercialise and further research and develop a hand-washing device designed for dementia sufferers. 


Using live video of the person washing their hands, the device provides audio and visual prompting if the person forgets which stage they are at.  The development of such technology helps people with dementia to stay in their homes for as long as possible.    


Dr. Jesse Hoey of the University of Dundee is looking to refine the device to detect if a person’s dementia is getting worse and react accordingly, and to apply the technology to other household tasks such as brushing teeth or cooking. 


“For research, we would be interested in partnering with a company to develop the device for a different task, or a different user group (or both), “ said Dr. Hoey, “For instance, we currently have interest in Canada in using the device to help children with autism learn handwashing.   We are using a similar type of technology to assist with mobility (powered wheelchairs), or for fall recovery (community alarms).” 


Dr. Hoey is also looking for partnership for commercialization, requiring a minimum of 1 year’s additional research work. Options such as £30,000 – £50,000 industrial studentships funding a 3 year PhD student with partial corporate sponsorship, in-kind funding for research in proposals currently being submitted, or Knowledge-Transfer Partnerships (KTP) are also of interest to Dr. Hoey’s research on a three to five year timescale. 


“For commercialisation, we would be looking for a larger investment to fund a researcher and technical support to develop a commercially viable version of the device,” added Dr. Hoey.

Dr. Hoey won the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR) Best Paper Award for his research. The device, which was developed in conjunction with the University of Toronto, is now being tested clinically at a long term care facility in Toronto.

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