A start-up specializing in pet health is fighting canine dementia with video games
LONDON – A pet health tracking company is fighting canine dementia through the use of video games.
Joipaw says it has created an Apple Health-style tracker that can measure canine health. It includes an interactive Whack-a-mole style game that provides data on the animal’s state of mind.
Joipaw is the brainchild of Dersim Avdar and Marco Jenny, who say the goal is to alert owners if abnormal behavior is detected. Dogs wear the tracker on their collar, and it sends data about their activities to the app. For example, the device records steps, time spent resting, playing and walking.
They also play games on a console and receive treats when successful. The technology collects cognitive data in the background, which also appears in the app. Owners received insight into their dog’s health on an app, along with early warnings in case anything unusual was detected by the hardware.
“Imagine being told early if your dog shows signs of joint problems or dementia dogsigns that a human will struggle to notice quickly, but can be referred to your veterinarian to improve diagnoses and treatments,” a Joipaw spokesperson said in a statement provided by SWNS.
“Our company offers a holistic approach to preventative health care for dogs. We combine both cognitive and physical stimulation in the form of a dog-friendly console, wearable device, and software platform that lets you track your dog’s health metrics.
“Joipaw alerts you early if necessary abnormal behavior is detected, and our goal is to share this data with your veterinarian to enable better diagnosis before potential complications.
Video games for dogs ‘turn daily exercise into a lifestyle’
“Imagine Apple Health, but for dogs. That’s what Joipaw is all about, a health tracking and boosting offering for improve the lives of dogsAvdar told SWNS. “We are improving their physical and cognitive health by turning daily exercise into a lifestyle with our game console, wearable tracker and app.”
The Joipaw team adds that their approach is based on years of experience in software and hardware, combined with decades of research in canine cognition and animal-computer interaction.
“Initially my wife and I adopted a rescue in Hong Kong and were looking for a solution to keep him busy while we were away as we knew he was just miserable and had nothing to do while we were working. full-time,” says Dersim. “Our friends had the same problem, and the current solutions on the market haven’t fundamentally changed over the past few decades.”
“We joked buying it video games (we grew up as gamers) and I researched to see if there was anything like that to buy,” continues the co-founder of Joipaw. “I couldn’t find any products, but I did find recent academic research that attempted to measure the cognitive development of dogs as they age, with a touchscreen device.”
“A line in an article caught my eye saying that several dogs continued to play alone even though they were left alone with the device and were not getting any rewards for it,” Dersim told SWNS. “So they seemed to like it and we could stimulate them like that?” It was my moment aha.
“We developed a quick prototype, tested it with friends, garnered greater amounts of feedback with online surveys, developed a second prototype and tested it, and now we’ve had dog owners reservation to purchase the product on our website.
“Beyond the entertainment side, our goal with this company is to help dogs live healthier lives through enrichment and bonding with their owners, and we also want to show the world how dogs are smart because we humans tend to empathize and take better care of others when we realize they are closer to us than we think,” concludes the co-founder.
Joipaw is currently testing its system with several dogs to get feedback on the current version of the device.
“Your dog can play challenging video games tailored to his needs, and you can see how well he does — maybe even compete with your neighbor’s dog,” the company explains.
South West News Service writer Dean Murray contributed to this report.