Timesteps, native app and widget to increase the quality of life for people with dementia

Blog article

Customer case TimeSteps

TimeSteps is a technological innovation in eHealth. The young start-up is developing an app for the somewhat younger dementia patient who is already used to using a mobile phone. The goal is simple: as much self-reliance as possible. These individuals need tools to help them with simple things like telling the time, planning the day and finding their way home. The TimeSteps app can serve as support.

As the company is still in the start-up phase, this process was a matter of validating assumptions and generating interest from a corporate group and investors. To this end, a widget had to be developed that provided a glimpse into TimeSteps' plans.

Native app development

For the development of this gadget, the Rotterdam based software company Enigmatry got involved. They took up the project together with a team of TAAS developers. Jelle de Haan, General Director of Enigmatry: “The reason we used TAAS is because there was a specific request to develop a widget. For that you have to develop a native app and that knowledge was limited within our team. TAAS asked a number of parties in their network about the availability of native app developers and whether they could deliver what was needed. Ultimately, there was a party in Serbia that TAAS already worked with for another customer. They had the knowledge and the people to do this.

Challenges in the project

App development itself has its own dynamics. This has several reasons, including the fact that there are many different devices and IOS versions on the market. “It is very difficult to ensure that something works well in all situations. Particularly testing is a difficult part. We also noticed this when we placed the first version of the gadget in the stores. 

We found out that a group of users (informal care givers) had some difficulty using the widget. We therefore deliberately made the choice to also release a version with more instructions in the app, in order to be able to serve this target group’s needs. It is great for the target group that we also have a version that explains step by step what to do, how the installation works and how they can use the functions”, Jelle explains.

As in any project, there were also challenges in developing the gadget. On one hand, it was functionally challenging when it turned out that there was a change in the wishes on the user side. Even though it was a small project involving only two developers; one for the IOS version and one for the Android version, changing the wishes led to several adjustments in the technical field. From an organizational point of view it was also difficult to properly manage such a small project. Applying structure is more difficult compared to a longer running project.

Investors in line

The aim of the project was to attract investors, the widget being the method to achieve this. The widget has now been delivered and investors are queuing up, purely to invest in the product. With the help of these investors, TimeSteps can now almost start with the further development of the app, which already has been downloaded over two thousand times in the first few months. All in all, a successful result.

This result was partly achieved by the actual delivery of the gadget, with an entire campaign built around it. It was important that Team As A Service delivered quickly, as it had to coincide with a specific moment in the campaign.

Effective time saving for the user

The app that TimeSteps is now going to develop is on the one hand a tool for the patient, but it will also provide peace of mind for informal caregivers. People with dementia will soon be more self-reliant for longer, which means that less guidance is needed. There is also a significant saving in time for care providers in the delivery of the app. They will soon gain much more insight into the care needs of the person with dementia. In concrete terms, this results in effective time savings for the user and the group of people around it.

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