Finalist 2023

Reverie

Maneet Singh / RMIT University

Reverie - a three-component system that leverages Reminiscence Therapy and is designed to alleviate dementia-induced issues like Confusion, Aggression and Depression.

Reverie aims to alleviate the psychological burden that comes with the disease by offering a multi-sensory experience that stimulates positive memories and emotions, fosters a deeper connection between patients and their caregivers, and improves the overall well-being of patients. The design of the product is based on the principles of reminiscence therapy, which has been shown to significantly benefit patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Design Brief:

Fifty–five million people in the world live with Dementia, a number likely underestimated due to limited support and diagnosis in developing countries. Alzheimer's, being an end-of-life disease is more than just memory loss, issues like dementia induced rage, aggression, confusion, and isolation that are a huge part of the disease often get overlooked.

On the other hand, the demand for skilled caregivers is growing, yet there is a concerning shortage. Specifically, the global healthcare workforce needs to increase by 40 million by 2030 to meet our health-related needs.
Most importantly, current dementia care methodologies are archaic and fall short of delivering positive outcomes, impacting patients, their families, and caregivers.

Reverie aims to mitigate these by providing the patient with a tailored, multi-sensory reminiscing experience while also establishing a deeper patient-caregiver connection, as lack of trust between caregivers and patients can become a trigger, acting as a catalyst for dementia progression.


This project was developed by:

Maneet Singh / RMIT University

Design Process

The process began with a systematic approach, starting with the identification of the design problem. This phase encompassed a design sprint, surveys of professionals, and several rounds of feedback. Additionally, conversations with affected families, industry professionals, and care facility nurses revealed a significant finding: patients with Alzheimer's often possessed keepsakes, and these items held a deep association with specific memories that helped to calm them during episodes.

To materialize the solution, the team deconstructed the device into its core components and conducted a thorough brainstorming session using morphological analysis. Initial concepts such as tailored scents, multi-sensory walking sticks, and aromatherapy were explored, but it became apparent that they were not practical options.

The breakthrough occurred during a conversation with a friend whose grandmother suffered from Alzheimer's and would bring out keepsakes during visits, prompting the idea of a multi-sensory reminiscence kit. The team further validated this concept by consulting with industry professionals and conducting interviews with experts in the field, leading to continuous refinement of the idea.

Design Excellence

Reverie aims to address the pressing need for effective dementia care, over fifty-five million people currently suffer from it, a number likely underestimated due to limited support and diagnosis in developing countries. Irrespective, this number is estimated to triple over the next 20 years as per WHO.

Once diagnosed, patients and caregivers can engage in a conversational questionnaire designed in collaboration with a highly experienced GP with 30 years of practice. This questionnaire aims to efficiently unlock deep-seated memories within the patient, while simultaneously strengthening the bond between the patient and caregiver. Moreover, it provides valuable insights for implementing appropriate care methodologies.

Using the information gathered through the questionnaire, caregivers can customize the MemoryBox via the Reverie website. They can add meaningful textures, choose the size and color of the box, and create a personalized experience for the patient.

Additionally, the MemoryBox includes a LifeAlbum, which securely attaches to the box using magnets. The LifeAlbum is a multimedia collage featuring photos, audio recordings, fabrics, and name tags. the box's outer surface is customisable and textured, resonating with the patient's preferences, easily removable, washable, and replaceable with other textures. All this triggers multiple senses, stimulates cognitive function and emotional well-being, and assists with episodes of aggression.

Not only does the MemoryBox provide a safe haven for the patient's cherished belongings, but it also becomes a meaningful keepsake for family members to remember their loved one after their passing. It serves as a tangible representation of the patient's life and legacy, fostering a sense of connection and remembrance for those left behind.

Design Innovation

Unique in its approach, form and design, Reverie is incomparable to any product in the market. This is because it leverages science-based principles of Reminisce Therapy (RT) and formalises them to create a simple tool, the MemoryBox and LifeAlbum, which can be used anywhere and by anyone. It doesn't require prior medical knowledge or years of experience to operate, as in the past with RT, which was one of its challenges and limited the scale of impact it would have.

The user experience was at the core of our design thinking, Reverie productises this proven form of therapy, democratises access to it, and gives caregivers the agency to drive better patient outcomes - whether at home or age-care centres. This, when distributed across the world, has the potential to significantly impact the 55 million dementia patients worldwide - unlike any other offering in the market.

Design Impact

Reverie addresses a critical need for improved dementia care, enhancing patient well-being and engagement in society. The basis of Reverie lies in Reminiscence Therapy, which has shown significant improvements in cognitive function, mood, and social interaction in up to 80% of dementia patients. With an estimated 44 million people living with dementia worldwide, Reverie has the potential to positively impact a vast number of lives, providing them with a better quality of life.

Reverie contributes to reducing waste and minimising its environmental footprint, aligning with the growing importance of eco-friendly practices. The MemoryBox, an integral part of Reverie, promotes environmental sustainability as it is made from recycled plastics. This also ensures that the intended purpose of the product is met whilst the box not drawing away focus from the core elements, which are the keepsakes of the patient.

Beyond its societal and environmental impact, Reverie also brings commercial advantages to the forefront. Through its novel approach to dementia care, the product fosters stronger caregiver-patient relationships, transforming the caregiving experience. Traditional dementia care often focuses on symptom management, but Reverie's emphasis on Reminiscence Therapy enables caregivers to connect with patients on a deeper level, providing more personalized and compassionate care.

Additionally, Reverie opens up new market opportunities within the healthcare industry. As the benefits of Reminiscence Therapy become more widely recognized, there is likely to be an increased demand for products and services that support this approach. This surge in interest may lead to further research, development, and investment in dementia care solutions, driving progress and innovation in the field.

Student Design 2023 Finalists

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Shao Tian Teo / Taylor Ristevski / Alexander Barr / Dr Christine Phillips (RMIT Design Studio Leader) / Stasinos Mantzis (RMIT Design Studio Leader) / Professor N'arwee't Carolyn Briggs AM (Boonwurrung Elder/RMIT Design Studio Leader) / RMIT University

Bioscope

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UNCURVED

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SAF.ER - Solar Aqua Filter Emergency Response

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YANA: You Are Not Alone

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SPOT

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Technology of Interactions (ToI)

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Rift Snowboards - Sustainable Snowboard Design

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SoundStamps

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Kennett River Tower

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Forces Of Nature

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The Homeless Project

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