As a high school student, Kenneth Shinozuka wanted to keep his grandfather safe while he struggled with Alzheimer’s but he hopes to help others as well. Watch now.
The fastest growing threat to Americans’ health is Alzheimer’s, tech inventor Kenneth Shinozuka says in a 2014 TED Talk explaining how, as a high school student, he came to invent a smart sock that would alert his family to nocturnal attempts by his grandfather with Alzheimer’s to leave the safety of his bed.
Sixty percent of those with dementia eventually begin to wander, causing unending stress to their loved ones who often double as caregivers. In 2014, Kenneth Shinozuka won the Scientific American Science in Action Award at the Google Science Fair. Later, as a high school senior, he made a sensor that attaches to clothing for those who sleep without socks.
In 2015, he was named one of WebMD’s 2015 Health Heroes and subsequently his “SensaRx” company received a $50,000 grant from Digital Health Marketplace to test his “Safewander Bed-Exit Alarm Sensor — which began with his smart sock — in a joint pilot program at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, New York.
The young inventor has since become a doctoral student at Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry; he previously graduated with a Bachelors in neuroscience from Harvard University.