Highlights

  • 17-year-old Hyderabad develops tech to help dementia patients
  • Despite being immersed with board exams, he found time
  • Chadalavada hopes to start production by September this year.

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A 17-year-old Indian prodigy from Hyderabad has come out with a device that can potentially revolutionise dementia care 

17-year-old Indian invents groundbreaking tech that may help Alzheimer's patients

A 17-year-old Indian prodigy from Hyderabad has invented a device which, he claims, can detect when people with Alzheimer’s fall or wander off. Hemesh Chadalavada, a self-confessed nerd, made the gadget by learning about robotics and electronics through YouTube videos.

He said that he drew inspiration from his grandmother, who died last year after battling Alzheimer's.

“She had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but I was still in shock. What would have happened if I hadn’t been there?” Chadalavada told Guardian.

He was talking about an incident in 2018 when his grandmother, 63 years old then, forgot to turn off the gas at night after making tea. It was Hemesh who noticed it and turned the gas off

Furthermore, one other tragic story of how a family couldn't locate their father reinforced his drive to make the gadget.

“There was one family that searched high and low for their father for two years after he wandered off. They never found him. In the end, they gave up,” he was quoted as saying.

Unlike conventional gadgets that use WiFi or Bluetooth, this device called Alpha Monitor uses long-range communication technology.

It can detect a caregiver more than a kilometre away in cities and over four kilometres in villages. He is now poised to start manufacturing.

The monitor also measures pulse and temperature, and reminds people when to take medication.

But Chadalavada said that he went even further with his invention, by trying to predict a patient’s movement patterns, using machine-learning technology.

Chadalavada was able to fund his dream project after beat 18,000 entries to win a Rs 10 million grant from the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest and was assigned some of Samsung’s top engineers as mentors.

He says that he intends to mass-produce the device by September this year after finishing his school exams in March. He wants the device to be sold at affordable prices so that many people are able to purchase it.

Hemesh was awarded with the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar in 2021.

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