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  • 05.04.17

Japan is GPS tagging dementia patients to track them down when they get lost

Sohgo Security Services, a Japanese company has developed tiny trackers to stick on dementia patients so family and care workers can find them quickly if they wander off, Mashable reports. The tags can be attached to shoes and then tracked via a companion app or a tabletop detector, and it seems that they are on the right track—in testing they were able to find someone in just 10 minutes using their tags. 

It’s one solution to a growing problem. As Japan’s population ages, dementia is on the rise. The disorder affects 4.6 million people in Japan now and that number is expected to rise to 7 million by 2025.  Thousands of dementia patients in Japan go missing each year, according to stats from Japan’s National Police Agency reported in The Guardian, with 12,208 cases reported in 2015. If the missing aren’t found quickly, results can be fatal. Sohgo Security Services hopes their Mimamori tags can help cut those numbers down. They’ve handed out 2,000 Mimamori tags to some 10 cities in Japan so far, and will be releasing a consumer model available to the public next spring. Read about it here, before you forget.ML