Our Amazing Client, GreyMatters, Won Fast Company’s 2018 World Changing Ideas Awards!

April 9, 2018 - 4 minutes read

Mobile app developer

It takes true innovation and grit to persist with creating your vision. This is even more so when the problem you’re trying to tackle is not only difficult but one that is personal to millions of people around the world.

We’re extremely proud of our client, GreyMatters, for winning the apps category of Fast Company’s 2018 World Changing Ideas Awards!

An Epidemic That Needs Attention

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are awful illnesses that rob people of their memories. Both have been growing to epidemic proportions; more than 5 million people in the U.S. are afflicted with Alzheimer’s. That number is expected to reach 14 million by 2050.

Jennifer Rozbruch can vividly remember when her grandmother started losing her memory to dementia. It was 2013. While Rozbruch was attending New York City‘s School of Visual Arts for her masters in design, her mother was taking care of her grandmother.

Something immediately stuck out to Rozbruch: “My mom was able to connect with her in ways that other people couldn’t through music from her youth, telling stories from her early life, and looking through photos with her. I saw how much her mood and her manner changed when she was engaged in this way. She went from barely communicating and having no short-term memory to being able to sing the rest of a song’s lyrics on her own.”

An App to Access Memories

Rozbruch decided to translate what she witnessed into design for her SVA thesis. From the moment we heard about her unique idea, we were onboard to help her develop an app that could make this a reality. The end result was GreyMatters, an iPad app that acts as a link to the past for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

GreyMatters lets caregivers arrange memories like stories, photos, music, and pop culture content from the past to form a storybook. It can be difficult to interact with people afflicted with Alzheimer’s or dementia. A familiar context is key to setting the tone, but this is easier said than done. GreyMatters provides a way to alleviate this stress and structure interactions to be more positive and productive.

With the ability to easily access a tune from Duke Ellington or a clip of Katharine Hepburn, GreyMatters streamlines interactions with Alzheimer’s or dementia patients to be more meaningful. “People have been using photo albums and scrapbooks for a long time,” Rozbruch says. “This streamlines everything, and makes it easier for people to tap into memories with their loved ones.”

A World-Changing Idea

Since its debut, GreyMatters has had more than 8,000 downloads. Currently, Rozbruch is working on a sharing feature that lets family members collaborate in the app regardless of where they are located.

Words can’t properly express how proud we are of GreyMatters for winning the apps category of Fast Company’s 2018 World Changing Ideas Awards! We’re also extremely grateful for the opportunity to get to help with such an amazing endeavor!

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be terrible, painful experiences for a family to go through. Rozbruch and GreyMatters remind us that innovation can shine a light on any problem, no matter how dark.

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