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Rolling out in Singapore, world’s first multilingual brain game for fending off dementia

Developed by Associate Professor Yow Wei Quin and her team at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Ami is an app aiming to boost cognitive function in seniors, focusing on those with early-to-moderate signs of dementia. 

The app is based on the hypothesis that multilingualism enhances cognitive abilities beyond language learning. A study by SUTD found that seniors engaging with bilingual brain games showed significant improvements in verbal memory and cognitive skills, in contrast to those who didn't interact with a game or only with monolingual ones. 

Ami currently offers three touchscreen games in six languages and dialects, coupled with avatars that adapt to various cultural contexts. Because the app facilitates independent play, it doesn't just appear to enhance cognitive outcomes but also increases seniors' ease with technology. Feedback indicates over 85% of users found the app enjoyable and straightforward to navigate. Following a successful pilot, Ami is now being rolled out in collaboration with Lions Befrienders. The app will be installed on one thousand Lion Befrienders' senior-focused IM-OK tablets by December 2023.

Trend Bite

As the global population ages, the incidence of age-related cognitive decline, including dementia, is expected to surge. The number of people with dementia is projected to reach 82 million by 2030, igniting a need for innovative, non-pharmacological interventions like Ami. Unlike traditional medical interventions aimed at treating existing conditions, the focus here is on being proactive. 

Ami seeks to mitigate the onset of cognitive decline through cognitive stimulation enabled by multilingualism. This strikes a chord with a growing societal preference for preventative healthcare, a trend reinforced by increasing awareness of disease prevention and the rising costs of medical treatment. Moreover, the app's focus on multilingualism aligns with increasing multiculturalism, providing a scalable and culturally adaptable solution. How could your organization harness technology to provide preventative care?