If you need help or advice about using Prompt, please email us at email@example.com or call +44 121 318 7798.
Watch our walkthrough video showing how the app works here
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Prompt
Prompt is an app that helps people worrying about forgetting so they can feel prepared for each day and able to keep socially active. It builds memory snapshots and details of your shared history with people and places and links them to reminders. Over time the system learns about the user’s preferences and daily routines and will predict what’s needed, when. The service acts as a memory companion by nudging users to add more information about their day, people and places. Families and carers can help manage the service and, with the user’s permission, can see where the person they support is and how they’re coping. Prompt sends alerts if something out of the ordinary is found.
How does Prompt Work?
Prompt aims to replicate the way memory recalls information through association. For example, if you think of a family member, you’ll have a whole host of events or funny stories or pictures in your mind. Sometimes, we need a nudge to bring those memories forward. Prompt is a platform for storing those events, stories, nuggets of information that make up your history with that person or place so you can refer to them later, when you need to.
At the moment Prompt is built around a visual diary. It shows the events you have coming up, with pictures of the people who’ll be there and the places you’ll be visiting, if they’re available. You add new events, people, places and information to the system by answering straightforward questions. In future, we will find as much information about the people and places you’re mentioning and add them to the system automatically. You can dictate entries by using the microphone symbol on your keyboard. If you don’t see the symbol you can turn it on in Settings, Keyboards, Enable Dictation.
In the background, Prompt looks for connections between the information you’re adding and the people and places you’re mentioning. The service makes links between the information and shows it when you touch a picture of a person or a place.
Why is it important to keep socially active?
A lot of research shows that it’s good to spend time with friends and family. Recent research by the Lancet Commission suggests that being socially active plays a part in warding off or delaying the onset of dementia; other important factors include a healthy diet, at least 30 minutes exercise 5 times a week and making sure your hearing is OK. Loneliness can be as damaging to your health as smoking, according to some research by Brigham Young University, and in a future version of Prompt, we aim to make it easier to connect with other people with similar interests who live nearby.
Is Prompt only suitable for people living with dementia?
The research for Prompt started with people living with young and early onset dementia, but testing has since shown it can be valuable for people living with other conditions, such as chemobrain, depression, recovery from stroke or brain injury. More recently we’ve had people using to store information they may forget after an epileptic episode or to help deal with symptoms of the menopause.
How will elderly people use this? Can my Grandmother use Prompt?
That depends what you mean by elderly! According to research agency ComScore, more than 43% of over 65s already use a smartphone or tablet. 30% of this group are also using social media, primarily Facebook. And in the next generation, the 55-64 year old, adoption is already at over 50%. So, this is a growing market. For people who’re not so familiar with the technology, we’ve designed it to be as simple as possible, using a question and answer format. There will also be a dashboard for family to help manage the system, and of course it can bring generations together if the youngest want to help the oldest to use Prompt.
What about Privacy?
We don’t share the information you store with anyone without your permission – and we plan that you will also be able to give different people different levels of access. For example, you may want your partner to see details that you wouldn’t want your grandchildren to read. We will also ask for your explicit permission to include your data in anonymised aggregated data we may offer for research. We will never sell your contacts or your data to advertisers.
We use some third-party applications to help Prompt operate efficiently, such as a login or maps provider. These services will only be able to access the information they need to provide support to us. For example, a mapping provider will need to have access to your location.
Memrica staff do not routinely read or monitor what you store in Prompt. Any reminders mentioning people or places are automatically generated. However, we reserve the right to sample data to ensure the service is not being abused. If requested by a law enforcement agency or regulator, Memrica must provide access to information you have stored in Prompt.
What if I’m offline?
The majority of Prompt’s features will work offline. Any new content or events added while the smartphone or tablet was offline will be integrated once a connection is available.
How is this different from my device calendar?
Your device calendar doesn’t link personal your shared histories about the people and places to your calendar entries. People with a memory problem often find device calendars difficult to use – the layout can be small and they pull in information like birthdays or sporting fixtures that are often not relevant. In addition, Prompt will nudge you and other people you’ve met that day to add a note about what happened, to continue building and refreshing shared histories and, in future, will bring users a summary of their week, to further boost confidence that life is good.
How is this different from Facebook?
Facebook users do share a lot of personal information, but it’s not regularly curated in a way that’s helpful to quickly understand that snapshot of your relationship with friends and relatives. We will be integrating data from multiple sources, including Facebook, if you give your permission.
What evidence do you have that this works?
We have a user group of around 160 people who test each version of the app and give us feedback. They tell us that they feel more confident being able to prepare for their day, but there have been things that they haven’t liked. As a result we’ve made lots of changes and we’re still listening to feedback, so undoubtedly there’ll be more changes to come. Before we started the project we carried out a lot of research with people living with memory problems, their families as well as clinical staff and organisations like the Alzheimer’s Society, Young Dementia UK and Headway.
What kind of thing didn’t people like?
Our previous version used a note taking interface and people found that a bit overwhelming, so we’ve changed to a much more guided approach to adding information.
Why can’t all that Prompt offers be free?
The basic app will always be free, but we will be offering paid for services. Memrica wants to make a difference, to do this we need to be sustainable as a business, so we can maintain our impact. We are planning to keep the cost as low as possible, so it’s affordable. We also think it’s important that we’re creating a service that be used on devices people already have, so there’s no additional cost.
Why can’t this be available on the NHS?
It might be in future! But first we need to prove that the improvements in social confidence we’ve seen to date, also maintains independence. This will take some time as we’ll need to study people over a long period and run well organised clinical trials. Our priority at the moment is to release the app and get it into people’s hands so we can keep improving the technology and increasing the impact we make.