15-year-old Kenneth Shinozuka has invented a device that could help millions of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Shinozuka was inspired to create the device because his 88-year-old grandfather developed Alzheimer’s and his family needed to figure out how they could monitor him in his time of need.
This device is especially helpful because Shinozuka’s grandfather, like many Alzheimer’s patients, developed a habit of wandering off and getting lost, which sometimes led to some dangerous situations. With this in mind, Shinozuka has called his invention “Safe Wander.”
“I made this sock that lets Conrad know when you walk off your chair or out of bed, and lets him know if you need help,” Shinozuka told reporters.
“My grandfather has lost the capability to eat by himself, to walk by himself, definitely to write and read. He can barely speak anymore. So it’s very hard. It’s also very hard for my aunt, his primary caregiver, since she’s the one who has to take care of him all the time,” Shinozuka explained.
The sock that he has created is equipped with a sensor that detects the increase in pressure that is created when the foot hits the ground, and then sends an alert to the nurse or caregiver’s smartphone.
Shinozuka is currently testing the device on residents of Irvine Cottages, a local nursing home that his grandfather has been living at.
“I just couldn’t believe that anyone so young could achieve so much. I thought he was a college student!” Jacqueline Dupont, the owner of Irvine Cottages said.
Shinozuka’s invention recently won a $50,000 prize and “Science in Action” award from Scientific American Magazine, and he plans to enter the Google Science Fair in California this September.
Eventually, Shinozuka says that he hopes to cure Alzheimer’s alltogeather.
“I’d like to solve some of the mysteries of the brain, and invent tools to ultimately, I think, cure Alzheimer’s and other mental conditions that our aging population suffers from,” Shinozuka said.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.