Start-up Secures £700k Funding for Dementia-Friendly App
This investment follows a funding round of £285,000 in 2020. Together with grant support from the Isle of Man government, this takes the business to over £1 million raised since its inception in 2019.
Founded by Bruce Elliott, Peter Quayle and Tom Coldwell in the Isle of Man to help connect with their own family members, Memory Lane Games now has more than 30,000 users worldwide. The app provides free and easy-to-use activities for reminiscence and life story work, recognised as a key dementia management tool by the NHS.
The founders noticed significant investment in early detection of dementia, but very little in post-diagnosis care. For the millions of families affected by dementia around the world, there is little practical support available.
By 2025, 1 million people in the UK will have dementia. Care for those living with the disease is under-resourced and under-funded, with 1 in 10 care roles in the UK unfilled. Families and friends often provide unpaid care, but this can be a challenging experience. To ease the burden, Memory Lane Games’ simple, frustration-free activities tap into long-term memories, which can be comforting for people with dementia.
The funding, which includes investments from several international family offices in the UK, Europe and Canada, will support new hires and grow the business’ games development capabilities. The launch of AI-driven personalisation tools will create a freemium app model to drive income and will support the launch of B2B offerings for care home and in-home carer groups. Further scale will come from ESG corporate programmes volunteering to build games, with partners including KPMG and Concept Recruitment already involved.
Further to the consumer growth focus, in the long-term, Memory Lane Games seeks to become a prescribed intervention globally, building on the success of prescription-status for cognitive exercises achieved in the Philippines for those with dementia and stroke. There are currently no other prescriptions available for dementia without side-effects. Speech and language therapists have also adopted the intervention to support their therapies, and Memory Lane Games intends to work closely to support this group.
Measuring impact is a top priority for founders, Bruce Elliott, Peter Quayle and Tom Coldwell, and so the business is also preparing for a clinical observational study pilot to measure the impact on quality of life for people living with the condition and their carers, as well as working closely with Alzheimer’s Disease International on case studies for further international adoption.
Bruce Elliott, co-founder and CEO of Memory Lane Games, said: “Memories are a lifeline for people with dementia and their caregivers. We’re committed to improving post-diagnosis dementia care for the 850,000 people with the disease in the UK and the 50 million worldwide. This funding will enable us to take our technical expertise and user functionality to the next level. This will include enhancing our AI-based capabilities to provide a 360-care experience that connects family, carers and healthcare professionals with critical insights to inform and improve management and support of someone living with dementia under their care.”
Sarah Pagan, founder of Good Companion, added: “I work closely with families in the community to provide practical support and companionship. I know from experience that family members find it so tragically sad when their loved ones’ recent memories are taken away by dementia, so being able to reconnect to old memories they share together by using Memory Lane Games, how magical is that? This app makes such a difference to people living with dementia.”
Seen on Med-Tech Innovation News: Article Link