Raleigh Company Jigsawdio Receives NIH Grant for Audiovisual Jigsaw Puzzle Device

Grant supports development and use study for puzzle created for the Alzheimer's and dementia populations.

Jigsawdio, a woman-owned small business headquartered in Raleigh, N.C.,received a $500,000 Science and Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the prototype development and use study of its audiovisual jigsaw puzzle device created specifically for the Alzheimer's and dementia populations.

"I've seen nothing like this for any population," said Jigsawdio founder and CEO Amy Young. "It is a unique platform designed for those with memory loss to engage with the meaningful aspects of their life."

The puzzle, composed of acrylic pieces played in a soundframe, incorporates images and audio stories specific to an individual with memory loss.

"Users play their collection of physical personalized jigsaw puzzles on a displayable frame," said Young. "Each puzzle has six 'sound' pieces that play recordings that narrate the image associated with that part of the puzzle. It is the only jigsaw puzzle with pieces that play recordable sound."

Young, who worked in educational technology prior to founding Jigsawdio, explained that interest in developing such a product for children led to conversations with people whose grandparents could not remember their grandchildren.

"This product is being made specifically for individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia and other memory issues," said Young. "Statistics show that there are not enough caregivers to offer the personal attention to keep members of these populations engaged. Much of their time is spent in very passive activities.

"Jigsawdio (Patent Pending) hopes to provide a way to engage them more socially. It is personally relevant and easy to use. We have an IOS App that guides people step by step in loading their images and sounds to create their puzzles. While the puzzle is not yet available for purchase, the first version of the app is ready now in the App Store."

Supported by engineer and design companies for its hardware, firmware, software, and hard acrylic pieces, theJigsawdio prototypes currently include 12-, 24-, and 36-piece puzzle options, which will be completed by April. The puzzle then enters a custom six-week study.

"This study, conducted by researchers from Indiana University, will include participants' family members and caregivers who can provide feedback and ideas to create a puzzle, including present and past events, hobbies, favorite pets, and stories," Young said.

"The study will measure the emotional aspects of the images and sounds to the participants, what they like and how they respond, as well as how they engage.

"Jigsawdio is 'The puzzle that speaks to you.' Our goal is to improve the mood and quality of life of and bring joy to those with memory loss."

For more information, please visit jigsawdio.com or email [email protected].

Contact Information:
Amy Young
Founder and CEO
[email protected]

Original Source: Raleigh Company Jigsawdio Receives NIH Grant for Audiovisual Jigsaw Puzzle Device