Good News Story: Nigerian Irish Teen Girls Win Prize for their Dementia App

This award-winning app helps patients with dementia and it’s made by three teen girls.

These Nigerian-Irish teens were the champions of the Technovation Girls, an international competition which challenges young women to develop apps that will help solve an issue in their community.

Technovation hosts an annual competition and they’re a non-profit organization empowering women to become leaders in tech.

Their guide, project mentor Evelyn Nomay, is an Afro-Irish developer and the founder of Phase Innovate, an organization training and mentoring underrepresented minorities and tech women.

How Did the Idea for a Dementia App Happen?

Nomayo told the girls about her mother who had dementia and the teens got inspired to create an app that will help manage a person with dementia easier, but also help the patient himself.

The 12-week challenge birthed the app Memory Haven which beat more than 1,500 submissions from 62 countries.

This is an app which both caregivers and patients can use it. The app’s 6 features target 3 problems common for those with dementia, i.e. memory loss, difficulty with recognition, and difficulty with speech.

And, the app has a reminder feature that can alert the patient and caregiver that it’s medication time whereas the feature of photo albums allow the user to go through tagged photos and identify who’s in the photo.

The app also offers music, outreach, voice and face recognition, and memory games. With the memory games, dementia patients can promote their memory retention and cognition in a fun way and a way that helps better their speed and focus.

Since research has found that musical memories are the least affected in dementia patients, they also added a music feature to make personal playlists.

Young Women Showing that Tech World Isn’t just Male’s World

Let’s meet the team: Margaret Akano is a 17-year-old girl who was the project manager, Rachael was the financial manager, and Joy Njekwe who’s 17 was the sales manager.

Evelyn, their mentor, is currently doing a PhD in computer science and statistics. She was inspired to bring more girls and color people into the world of tech after she realized that most of the time; she was either the sole girl in class or the only person of color.

She emphasizes the prejudices that women and people of color face in the tech world and how they have to become a part of the past.




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