Miigen: App could help dementia sufferers store memories
The Stirling-based creators hope it can help in the fight against the disease.
It was the experience of losing their parents that led two Stirling-based entrepreneurs to create an app for people to store the memories of their lives.
Miigen is a new social media platform which enables users to gather photographs and memories in an online time capsule which they can share with their families.
Craig Lemmon and Campbell Ferrier are hoping the new technology could be used in the fight against dementia.
After Campbell's mother died and Craig lost his father, the two friends began to discuss the experience of going through their parents' old photos.
"We agreed it would have been so much better if we could have gone through these memories with them both while they were still alive," Campbell explains.
They realised there could be millions of such memories stored away, gathering dust in attics, that families might never get to share in time.
"Miigen is all about saving memories and we are hopeful that Miigen could prove to be a useful tool for dementia sufferers and their families," says Craig.
"We know that dementia is one of the biggest health issues facing us in the UK, with 850,000 suffering from the illness today.
"We're keen to get families together to help to save these precious memories."
The platform launched its beta version this week to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week and is predominantly targeted at over-50s.
Its secure privacy settings distinguish it from more public platforms like Facebook as it gives Miigen users complete control over who any information is shared with and when.
In addition to uploading old photographs, people can also use a simple voice tag facility to record quick descriptions, explanations and memories associated with the images.
The app also features a range of other tools, including a facility to create a bucket list and a public Were You There? section where users can share memories and photos from big events.
Miigen is primarily an online platform but one of the company's missions is to create offline gatherings through community events, education and volunteering.
Craig explains: "Another one of the main aims of Miigen is to try to reduce the level of loneliness amongst older adults by building an interactive portal where Miigen makers and champions can design and deliver a series of events to encourage inclusion."
The platform aims to have 100,000 users by June next year and is also preparing to launch in the US.
Users can access Miigen on desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, and sign-up can be done in seconds with a Facebook account or email address.