Dementia is a problem that is rampant in elderly citizens of Japan. Every year thousands of them go missing wherein hundreds are never found alive again. The problem is more severe in Japan as it is home to the world’s oldest population. However, a relieving fact is that it is also home to the world’s most advanced technology, helping people suffering from dementia to lead a slightly better life.
The country and its citizens have come up with several practical solutions that help people with dementia and their families lead a normal life. These techniques help people deal with memory loss and the need for a constant vigil. The local governments in Japan provide people with dementia and their related carers with badges that they can wear. These badges consist of QR codes (a square image akin to a bar code) that anybody can scan through a smartphone. This technology may emerge as a massive advancement for Dementia Treatment Market as similar technology can be adopted by other countries where a large number of populations suffer from this disease.
The idea of badges was inspired by an investor who saw his grandmother suffering from the disease. He developed this idea into a prototype with the help of his team and went to sell it door-to-door in 630 towns and cities all across the country. The idea soon turned out to be a success, and the company he worked for was bought by Japanese pharmaceutical giant Toho Holdings.
Even though having QR badges with patients is quite useful, it is not a complete solution. This is because the concept of immediate neighbours is fading slowly and gradually while the problem of dementia still subsists. One Professor Schekman has projected that the rising number of people with dementia is a crisis similar to that of climate change. This is because it will create stress on the families of such patients. Moreover, people might even leave their jobs to care for their loved ones as an economic consequence. Hence, Prof Schekman has started a 10-year project under which he will research the basic science behind Parkinson’s disease by gathering teams of scientists from all over the world. Goggle’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, is funding the project.
Another solution that citizens of Japan have developed is to be connected to people through social networking sites. However, in case there is some sort of disaster, it would be more fruitful if there is a space where people can build relationships with each other so that neighbours can help each other out.
As life expectancy in most countries increases, the number of people that suffer from Dementia is also likely to augment dramatically in the coming years. Hence, Japan's solutions will be taken up by more and more countries as time passes and the process on the same has already started.
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