HealthTech • Design Concept • School

Designing for Dementia & Alzheimer’s  

Design concept to support the day-to-day communication and safety for people living with Dementia & Alzheimer’s, and their caregivers. Sponsored project with Eli Lilly and Company.

January - March 2021

Skills + Tools

UX/UI Design, UX Research, Figma, Illustrations

My Role
Research, Mobile Design, Illustrations

Lily Liu, Julia Chao, Jaymee Tang, Wendy Gui


MEMO is an integrated system to support communication and safety for the day-to-day lives of people living with dementia (PLWD) and their caregivers.

The system lives in the home of the PLWD, and consists of a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) sticker, an Apple Watch, and a mobile app.

Research + Synthesis

What is the problem space like for Alzheimer’s + Dementia?

Dementia and its many forms (Alzheimer’s is the most common) is an incurable disease that affects the PLWD (person living with Dementia) and their loved ones in the long term. It has many stages with different treatments (pre-diagnosis, early, middle, late stage, then death), and it destroys one’s sense of self, memory, cognition, and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Secondary Research

Understanding the user journey for Alzheimer’s + Dementia patients.

Primary Research

We conducted interviews to get a better understanding of the personal experience and day-to-day details of living with dementia and/or caring for someone with the disease, and to get professionals’ perspective on the design space and already existing design solutions.

Narrowing Down 

How did we get to MEMO?

Based on what we found through our research and feedback we got, we decided to narrow down to mainly focus on solutions that:
  • Design for the home space rather than outside, because PLWD don’t go out much.
  • Focus on practicality & assistive solutions, rather than more abstract and harder to measure aspects of Dementia — such as improving PLWD’s sense of self or past personality.
  • Reduce the work load & strain on caregivers who may be busy or stressed.

From this, we formed out 'how might we' statement which encompasses what we seek to achieve through our final design solution.

How might we build a system to support communication between people living with
dementia and their caregivers to improve the quality of their daily life?


Other Concept Explorations

These are some of the other concept ideas we thought of pursuing, and/or merged and adapted to form MEMO.



Scheduling system to reduce and manage the workload for caregivers and family members who are visiting & caring for the PLWD.

‘Safety’ bracelet that connects to a greater community and notifies is a PLWD is nearby and needs assistance.



Weekly care packages with learning activities and treatment for PLWD, tailored to their progression and interests.

AI-generated video messages of PLWD, caregivers, and family that can provide closure and reassurance.

Designing Phase


Designing Phase

Why an Apple Watch?

We decided to use an Apple Watch for these reasons:
  • It’s an already established product that is not targeted for PLWD or seniors; there is no stigma attached to it, and its usage is relatively common.
  • The watch already has existing functions that can detect the wearer’s activities, therefore we do not need to attach other tech to detect PLWD’s activities.

Why a Physical Sticker?

Using stickers as a way to visually mark and become a tracker for items and areas of importance was something our group decided since the beginning.

We chose to utilize RFID (Radio -Frequency Identification) tags because they are an already existing way of tracking one’s precise indoor location. They are also very cheap and low cost, and do not use a battery.

Why a Mobile App?

Originally, we experimented with having both the caregiver and PLWD use the Apple Watch and sticker functions.

As we continued exploring how MEMO could be used to track the progression of the PLWD, a mobile app for the caregiver seemed like the natural decision to allow for more control and analysis functions for MEMO.