June 15, 2015 • Anonymous
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Molly Fishback ’16 was part of a team of students who won two third place awards at the Westchester Smart Mobile App Development Bowl.
The competition’s purpose was to challenge students to develop mobile apps to help patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Fishback signed up for the competition after seeing an advertisement on The Daily Voice. She didn’t know coding or anyone with coding skills, so she signed up individually to meet other people and form a team. “I thought this would be fun and it was a way to connect with the community. I also learned more about working in a team,” she said. “Knowing that I could possibly change people’s lives was another reason I signed up for the competition.”
Fishback’s team included three other members, one student from Ossining High School and two students from Suffolk County Community College. While the other team members focused on coding, Fishback, a marketing major, focused on the marketing and management aspects of creating and developing the application and the presentation for the judges.
The application, called Sundowning Solutions & Connections, is meant to help caretakers connect with patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, particularly during the sundowning period, which is when the patient may experience increased confusion, anxiety, and agitation beginning at dusk and continuing throughout the night.
“There are many photo, video, and audio apps, but our app combines all the features into one and is specifically targeted to patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia,” explained Fishback.
The app, which was developed for Android and IOS, includes features such as photo albums and videos of family, keepsake items, and household items, as well as music. These features are meant to help the patient remember family and friends, important life events like weddings and vacations, important keepsakes like trophies or jewelry, and the location of household items. The music feature can help the caregiver connect to the patient, especially during the sundowning period.
Fishback and her team won third place in both the Mobile App Alzheimer's Association Functionality Award category and the Mobile App Tata Usability Award category.
Alzheimer’s and dementia awareness are a cause close to Fishback, who admitted to having a soft spot for the elderly. “I volunteered at The Bristal, an assisted living facility in Armonk, last May and I got to connect with patients who had Alzheimer’s and dementia and I liked working with them,” she said. “I could see how frustrating everything could be for the caregiver as well as for the patient and I thought it would be amazing to find a solution for their problems.”
Learn more about the Westchester Smart Mobile App Development Bowl here
The photo is courtesy of John Vecchiolla.
Molly FishbackWestchester Smart Mobile App Development BowlAlzheimer's diseaseCenter for Student Success