Main Application 20 is comprised of two subcomponents: a) a .Net User Application for all subscriber side business logic; and b) a Simple Message System (SMS) Message Interceptor—registered with, for example, Windows Mobile system for intercepting all incoming SMS messages, optionally filtering the ones coming from authorized caretakers of the user, and passing them on to the .Net User Application. Main Application 20 may be a C# application with XML configuration file used for caching purposes. This solution also provides rapid development of the subscriber side application, as well as provides the flexibility in choosing actual existing PDA devices and wireless network service providers.
A computer implemented method for automatically delivering a series of dynamic alerts to a user and for automatically reconfiguring the user interface to compensate for changes in perceived diminished cognitive ability of the user, said method being implemented using a computer application running on a computing device having a user interface, said method comprising the steps of: a. delivering a series of alerts to the user on the computing device at predetermined intervals until receipt of the most recent alert is acknowledged by the user by complying with at least one of a plurality of action requests displayed on the user interface of the computing device; b. automatically modifying the intensity level and/or number of sensory means of at least one alert in said series of alerts; and c. in the event that a predetermined number of alerts go unacknowledged by the user, modifying the number and/or character of said plurality of action requests to better accommodate the user's cognitive ability.
An article of manufacture embodied in a machine storage medium including data that, when accessed by a machine, causes the machine to: a. deliver a series of alerts to the user on the computing device at predetermined intervals until receipt of the most recent alert is acknowledged by the user by complying with at least one of a plurality of action requests displayed on the user interface of the computing device; b. automatically modify the intensity level and/or number of sensory means of at least one alert in said series of alerts; and c. in the event that a predetermined number of alerts go unacknowledged by the user, modify the number and/or character of said plurality of action requests to better accommodate the user's cognitive ability.
The present invention solves the need in the art by providing a dynamic computer based reminder system, method and apparatus for use by individuals suffering from progressive memory impairment or other cognitive deterioration. More particularly, the subject reminder system automatically modifies the visual, audible and/or tactile nature of reminder alerts in response to the detection of non-responsiveness of the sufferer. The computing system is preferably but not essentially a hand-held device such as a PDA or Smartphone through which the sufferer is provided access to a variety of functional features including, for example, receiving task reminders, cognitive skills activities and memory invoking messages in the form of text, images, voice and video sent by third parties via a communications infrastructure such as the Internet. During early stages of memory loss the user interface will be more feature-rich, however, as memory loss or other cognitive diminishment progresses the user interface of the device will, in accordance with the method described herein, be automatically reconfigured to provide functionality commensurate with the sufferer's then capabilities.
As user 100 interacts with the subject apparatus, or fails to interact with the subject apparatus, various types of user interface events may be generated and Main Application 20 may receive and respond to these events. It is noted that Main Application 20 may be configured to receive and respond to any other type of programmatic event, in addition to user interface events. For example, in various embodiments Main Application 20 may be configured to receive and respond to system events, events generated in response to data acquired from another device, etc. One example of another device is a remote computer operated by a caregiver and connected to computer system 10 via a communications infrastructure comprised of one or more of Internet, Intranet, telephone interface, cellular interface, satellite, WAN, LAN, or the like. With such an arrangement the caregiver can access computer system 10 from a remote location and schedule important deadlines and reminders in the subject reminder system.
A very important aspect of the alert delivery method in the context of supporting a sufferer is that sufferer 100 inputs into user interface 24 a confirmation or acknowledgement 30 that the alert was successfully received. Regardless of the alert mechanism employed by computer system 10 to alert the sufferer to a required action, an unambiguous alert dialog 32 is displayed on a display of computer system 10 that prompts the sufferer to confirm (cancel) or ‘snooze’ the alert. Confirming an alert causes the visual representation of an alert to disappear, cancels 34 the alert and all scheduled subsequent alerts for the same reminder. Upon receipt of a user initiated confirmation by Main Application 20, Main Application 20 may preferably but not essentially be programmed to record the receipt of the confirmation action and report it to any number of caregivers 200 to assist them in monitoring whether critical tasks are being attended to by the sufferer. ‘Snoozing’ an alert would make it disappear temporarily, until delivery of the next scheduled alert in accordance with the defined alert interval. ‘Snoozing’ an alert is not considered to be confirming an alert. The reports to caregivers may be delivered via text message, email, electronic fax or posting on a remote Website accessible by the caregiver(s), for instance.
It will be readily appreciated that while the discussion herein focuses on a particular computing arrangement, it should be understood that the invention is not limited to the particular hardware designs, software designs, communications protocols, performance parameters, or application-specific functions disclosed herein. An apparatus for making, using or selling the invention may be one or more processing systems including, but not limited to, a central processing unit (CPU), memory, storage devices, communication links and devices, servers, I/O devices, or any sub-components of one or more processing systems, including software, firmware, hardware or any combination or subset thereof, which embody the invention as set forth in the claims. One skilled in the art of computer science will easily be able to combine the methods as described with appropriate general purpose or special purpose computer hardware/software to create a computer system or computer sub-system embodying the method of the invention.