A conversation with:
Amy Young

The Missing Piece in Memory Care

In the realm of healthcare innovation, there's no shortage of captivating stories. Amy Young, the founder and CEO of Jigsawdio, is a beacon of hope, sitting at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurship. She has designed an innovative audio-visual platform aimed at enhancing the care and lives of Alzheimer's patients, for which she deserves every commendation. 

Pioneering Alzheimer's Care

Jigsawdio is not just another medical device. It's a trailblazer for future wellness technology, designed with an insightful perspective on tackling Alzheimer's care challenges. With a unique blend of healthcare innovation and personal experiences, Amy Young has developed an essential tool that bridges the gap between technology and Alzheimer's care.

Amy's story provides unparalleled reflections on how an innovative idea transforms into a palpable solution able to reshape lives. Her profound grasp on innovative medical technology and the intricacies of Alzheimer's care have made her not only an exceptional guest on the med+Design podcast, but also a pioneering figure in medical tech entrepreneurship.

An Introduction to Alzheimer's

As part of the podcast discussion, Amy delved into explaining Alzheimer's disease's impact. Alzheimer's is a brain disease causing memory loss, currently affecting over 6 million Americans. What's more, it claims more lives than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined. The illness particularly strikes hard at seniors, causing them unprecedented bouts of loneliness and depression.

The Birth of Jigsawdio

Curiously enough, the conception of Jigsawdio took a different path. Amy initially designed it for her children as a means to tell captivating stories and record precious memories. However, countless interactions led to the realization that it could work wonders for Alzheimer's patients, helping them remember their own children and grandchildren.

Choosing to pivot, Jigsawdio moved from being a children's oral history tool to an instrument that could potentially revolutionize Alzheimer's treatment. This innovative system has managed to combine several helpful activities for Alzheimer's patients, including puzzle solving, reminiscent therapy, aromatherapy, and exercise - all bundled within the context of familiar, reassuring voices, music, and narration.

Challenges and Achievements

Like any pioneering innovation, Jigsawdio's journey to become a tangible product has been filled with hurdles. Tough decisions, funding challenges, and technical setbacks posed significant challenges. However, with Amy's relentless perseverance and support from multiple corners, Jigsawdio slowly but confidently navigates its path towards realization.

Today, Jigsawdio prototypes are put to use in several nursing homes, allowing Alzheimer's patients to reconnect with their memories in a reassuring environment. The company's progress has been simultaneous with Amy's personal growth as she transitions into being the CEO of the company. From funding issues to product development, every challenge has been a stepping stone.

What's Next?

Navigating the seas of commercialization and overcoming regulatory challenges are the next steps in Jigsawdio’s path. As it continues to evolve and mold itself for better applicability in nurturing Alzheimer's patients' lives, Amy's unwavering faith in her product and her thirst for perfection remain paramount.

In the grand scheme of things, Amy Young's Jigsawdio serves as a beacon of hope. It’s a testament to human resilience, compassion, and the relentless pursuit of impactful innovation. Her story is a picture-perfect portrayal of the magic that occurs when technology, medical knowledge, and empathy come together, which at its core, embodies the spirit of innovation.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Jared: Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode at the med+Design podcast, the platform where we delve into the fascinating journeys of healthcare innovators and today we have the privilege of hosting Amy Young, an inspiring figure in the realm of medical technology. Amy is the founder and CEO of Jigsawdio, an innovative audio visual platform designed to enhance the care of Alzheimer's patients, combining her experience from diverse roles in the medical device industry.

Amy has developed a unique approach to address the challenges in Alzheimer's care. She stands at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurship, embodying the spirit of innovation. Her work with Jigsawdio is not just novel in its approach to Alzheimer's care, but it's also blazing a trail for future wellness technology in the field.

Amy's story offers insightful perspectives on the process of transforming an innovative idea into a tangible solution that has the potential to change lives. Her depth of knowledge and firsthand experience in the realm of innovating medical technology make her an exceptional guest for our podcast.

We're excited to explore her journey, the creation of Jigsawdio, and her vision for the future of Alzheimer's Care. So without further delay, let's dive into our conversation with Amy Young. Welcome, Amy.

[00:01:10] Amy: Hi. Thanks so much for having me.

[00:01:11] Jared: Yeah, we're happy to have you. So I think just as a sort of precursor to the conversation, what is Alzheimer's disease and what kind of impact does it have on patients that are experiencing it and families and maybe society as a whole.

[00:01:26] Amy: Yeah, so Alzheimer's is when people are experiencing a brain disease where they're losing their memory and it's affecting over 6 million Americans in the US and one in three seniors dies with a form of dementia or Alzheimer's, and it kills more people than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined.

And many of them are depressed and experiencing loneliness. And a lot of families are living with a loved one who has the disease and they also can be affected, obviously just as much as the person going through it, if not more. And there are a lot of times they're caregivers in making decisions about the regression of the disease as time goes on.

[00:02:11] Jared: Yeah. I definitely have a firsthand experience in that with my own late grandfather who had onset of dementia for maybe 25 years. It was a really slow grind for him. And we cared for him as long as we possibly could before we eventually had to move him to a home. And it's such a complex disease.

And actually my parents also owned a retirement home when I was a kid, and so I got to be around Alzheimer's and, I can imagine the tax that it puts on the family and then the human being at the end of it, that's like experiencing it, they're confused every day.

They don't know what's going on. Like they wake up in this place and they're like, Where's my family? Where's my dog? And I think like what you're working on with Jigsawdio has the potential to, at least brighten their day and maybe change their lives, for the amount of time that they have left, and so I guess leading into Jigsawdio, what inspired you to start Jigsawdio and just take this journey that you're on?

[00:03:05] Amy: Yeah, I feel like they come to this whole world from an opposite approach of what most people do in terms of, a lot of times people ask me, oh, did I have an, I must have had a loved one that had Alzheimer's, or I have a scientific research background in Alzheimer's and I don't, I came from the opposite perspective of actually designing this for my children to be able to tell them stories and to hear their memories from my perspective and from their own. And so how this all developed was really organically going into the Alzheimer's world because as I was speaking to people about the product, They would tell me that. That's great. I would love that for my children too. However, I really need it for my parents who can't remember my children, they can't remember their grandchildren.

And so a light bulb went off and then the more people I started talking to, I learned how many people were affected in living with family members or knew had a family member or knew someone who had Alzheimer's. And then it just ignited a new passion in me because even though my background is in more publishing, higher education technology, And I designed this for children my whole life

I always had a interest and value for the elderly and wanted to be able to do something. I just wasn't sure what it quite was, but it was always back there in the back of my mind, and so everything just changed at that moment to be able to focus on bringing a product that might be able to bring some joy to that world and to family members and to people suffering from the disease.

And Interestingly enough, as I was learning and as I still am learning about alzheimer's disease and different memory loss diseases that are affecting people not only in the elderly population, but early onset Alzheimer's. People with Down Syndrome, many of them get Alzheimer's before the age of 50.

And so as I continued to learn about memory loss, and then I could see the different types of suggestions because there is no cure right now that there's different suggestions that people can do to bring more joy to themselves and to have more value in their everyday lives, including crossword puzzles or jigsaw puzzles or making family trees or reminiscent therapy, which is looking at photographs and really being able to use tactile functions of like painting or crafts, things that they can touch.

And there's also aromatherapy. That is helpful. Exercise and socializing. And so as I looked at, all of those suggestions, I remember one time reading once, oh, they should do jigsaw puzzles and they should do puzzles that have sound. I'm like the only sound puzzles I know of are this is a tiger.

Let's put it in the tiger spot, and then it roars, like that's not really personally relevant to people 65 and older. And so it, it was really interesting how my device not being designed specifically for all of those suggestions just happened to be a comprehensive version of those different activities.

So it was really neat to me how I was able to come into this, to this market.

[00:06:21] Jared: Yeah. That's incredible. And I guess also talking about how you got started as well, what were the sort of like early stages of Jigsawdio where obviously a lot of this takes funding, to get things off the ground, and so was this self-funded?

Did you get a grant to do it? And then also just what pushed you in this direction in general?

[00:06:40] Amy: Yeah, so when I started looking for how I could show this like a minimal viable product, how can I explain this to people? I worked with a local engineer who helped me make the first version kind of, of the product so I could get the point across.

And that was funded by me personally from my personal funds. And and it, we, and it actually was able to show and got the point across and did what we wanted to do. It wasn't where it needed to be, but it made its point and that allowed me to be able to understand it, play with it, see what needed to be improved to actually make it an effective experience.

And so I also later tried to apply for more local types of grants that would be able to help me in terms of a patent or improve the prototype further. Maybe do some sort of crowdfunding so I could continue on to move towards marketability. And so that's where things started. I became a finalist in one of the grants and I didn't end up getting it, and so

when one door closes, you start to look at yourself and reflect, okay, how do I move forward from here and should this be the end or should I keep pushing? And that was around the time when I didn't get that initial grant, that was around the time when I started transitioning to thinking this should be more for Alzheimer's.

And that was more the immediate need. And so that was interesting because that transition, I think, affected the way that people were invested in thinking about me winning for that grant. And so I had to make a transition and make a decision this is where I think it needs to go, even though it might not be the popular decision or not in line with what I originally thought.

It was a really strong pivot and what was really interesting about that is when I actually first spoke to Ty and that's what changed my direction of my next goal moving forward.

[00:08:51] Ty: You touched upon a couple of things where, you know you had originally designed it to solve one use case, one need, one pain point, which is to tell better stories to children.

And then you picked up on that theme of a tactile experience, and then you identified a greater need in the market, a greater pain point. In a use case where it was solving a bigger problem, it didn't invalidate your original thesis, but rather there was a more direct path to really solving problems for people and building new meaning.

And so that was, I think, it's a it's in the adjacent next possible that you went down that has been a source of traction for you. And just because the grant that you applied to, you didn't originally get. Sometimes that feedback is really valuable cause that imagine now if you come back and apply to that same grant, they'd be in a different context and with much more traction and yeah, I think they might have done a service to give you that feedback in that moment.

So like it through hindsight, it always, seems like it's a straight path, in the uncertainty in the moment, it's so much more challenging.

[00:09:54] Amy: It is definitely, and that's when, like when one door closes, another one opens and when you look back on the journey really all laid itself out perfectly.

And I know that if I got that original grant, I would never have gone for the larger grant. And so that original grant was, 50 times less than the grant that I got in the end. And so when I didn't get that grant, I reevaluated, okay, how am I going to do this? How do I move this forward? And that's when I reached out to Trig.

To understand what is it I will have to do to make this better, to make this where people can actually use it and see if we can actually market this product and bring it to commercialization. And that's when we were talking about Alzheimer's and who the device can help and all the different secondary markets as well.

And that's when the NIH grant came up about the National Institutes of Health and because Alzheimer's is a national crisis. The National Institutes of Health finds it very important to make sure that they're funding types of solutions or anything that could be positive to people with Alzheimer's.

And so that's when I started to learn more about it. And I remember at first thinking no, I don't have a research background. I'm not gonna be able to be a candidate for this. And what I ended up finding out is I was able to find the appropriate research team to be my science background, so you don't have to be everything, and I didn't have to be the researcher.

I could have my research team do that component for me and help me do the research. I learned so much about that part and I think that's what's amazing about NIH grants with the science is that forced me to learn and it's helping me understand how people really would use this in a way that could be helpful for them.

And it's a feasibility study that we are doing, but it's still important for me to understand what they're experiencing and everyone's so different. And when we were talking about Alzheimer's and your experience Jared with your, with your family members, it's so different for everyone.

Everyone's experience or how they're expressing it or whatever they're going through as they're going through the disease. It is so challenging to every family member, but it's also so different and I think that's why it's really hard for people to get the support they need. But yeah, so I had the research team and then I was able to talk to Trig about how we move things forward and together with the team of experts and me working with them, that's how we moved forward with our strong application to be able to apply for the funding.

[00:12:36] Ty: That's taken a lot of grit and courage to pull all of that together and to go into a domain where you didn't necessarily have the background, but you went out and talked to a lot of different potential clinical teams in order to be able to find the right team, to put together a strong package and chart a path forward.

It's been a joy to be able to work with you on this journey.

[00:12:54] Amy: Same with you. I really feel like you've gotta be open to listening to what people say. I think that was something that was really important that I learned. You can have a vision for something, but you have to listen to what experts are saying.

It doesn't mean you have to do everything exactly that way, but if you close yourself off and think there's only one path forward, then you could be missing an opportunity to really make things better or it could be even bigger and more impactful than you ever imagined. And I feel like that's when I first started this off for not affecting people who have any sort of disease, just as something enjoyable to do and to have, to actually be able to bring some joy and to help people create these puzzles and do them.

And that passion with that and me wanting to move forward and do that was just, blew me away cuz that's not how I intended it to start. So I'm just very lucky to be on this position.

[00:13:52] Jared: And speaking of the position you're in, you're the CEO of this company and you have transitioned into this full on leadership role of developing this company.

And what has the transition been like for you to being the CEO, the conductor of all these things going on? How have you grown during it? What have you learned throughout this experience?

[00:14:12] Amy: Oh my goodness. That's so interesting because my whole life, I've always worked for other people, other companies, and so you always have that one person to tell you, okay, yes.

You're doing this right. You're on the right path. Yes. Do that like check. We're good. And I didn't have that. And so I always felt like I wanted someone in the beginning to tell me, yes, you're doing the right thing or this is what you should do and no one could. I kept thinking as I talked to people and as I've gone on with this over the years, I started to realize that no, I'm not an expert.

I'm not a physician, I'm not a researcher on Alzheimer's. I don't know all of the answers, and I'm still learning. I don't know how to make products and develop them. I'm not an electrical engineer. And so what seems to work out well is to have the experts that you feel that you can trust the most.

And ask them about those components. So in the end, you make the overarching decision, but you have the teams that you trust and value to help guide you. And I think that's something that has been really valuable to me and realizing that I'm not always gonna get it right. And that's just the nature of this.

But I'm also becoming an expert in this product. And no one else can really tell me all of the ins and outs, and I realize that when I talk to people, I'm like, oh yeah, I guess it's all on me in terms of how this product needs to go and what aspects I want to improve and change and to be able to work in different areas.

So it's been a big transition, but it's, it's really exciting and I really enjoyed and learned so much in this process and I can't wait to, and just continue to, cuz we haven't sold the product yet. I haven't gone through that scenario. And so being able to be at this point and do a lot of market research and get the feedback and understand, okay, this is what we made.

Now is this something that the world wants? Is it gonna be helpful as we, as impactful as we envisioned?

[00:16:19] Ty: I've already said I wanna be one of your first customers, please. I love this product. I want to give it to my grandparents. Can I tell the speaker story real quick? Yeah, because I think this speaks to your role as a leader of the product in that, in development for this, you knew from talking to the customers and also from your first prototype how much the volume mattered for this.

And the development team was going through and had one idea of what was acceptable for the speakers, and you refused to accept what, quote unquote, the experts were telling you. And you became the champion for no this matters. You slammed your fist on the table and said, this is important. This is what my users need.

This is what the patients need. And you held firm to that and then actually went so far as to source and find a great solution for making sure that the sound quality would meet the expectations of your customers. And it wound up being a great solution. We wound up absorbing it, but that was I think, just a moment where you like really were the leader of this program and guiding disparate teams across different specialties

to bring together a complete product solution. And that was just a moment where I just thought that was just a shiny example of your leadership in developing this program .

[00:17:31] Amy: Oh, thank you. Yes, I remember that very well. I still with the speakers, I think it's something that. Yeah. When you know that something is so important because you've dealt with maybe the issue similarly on, on the last one I was impacted for it, so I knew that was one of the most, number one important thing.

Audio is in the name, so we have to be able to hear it and hear it well, and when you're hearing people's voices, you wanna be able to recognize it and it's not screeching or you're listening to music. It's a pleasant sound and especially for people who are elderly. They definitely need to be able to have a high quality sound, and I had no idea what goes into putting sound into a product when

it's actually, long term, it'll be a hundred thousand dollars project to be able to do real custom speakers that need to actually work the way that I truly want them to work in the end. And so obviously when you're starting out and with prototypes, you need to make decisions and that's not going to be something that we spent but I felt like we did the best we could based on what was available to us. And sometimes you can start to go down these roads of all these different aspects because this product is, it's a hardware product. And I remember reading about something years ago before it came up with the idea, don't try to invent a hardware product because it's one of the most challenging and expensive.

Things to do in terms of creating a product. And it is, but I also think it's rewarding. And I did have a lot of people say to me, why can't this just be a software? I think we should probably explain it a little bit what it is. I think we've gotten there yet. But

[00:19:08] Jared: that was my next question, so that lines up perfectly.

Yeah. What are the features? What is it? I see it's right over your shoulder there.

[00:19:13] Amy: It is, and I have another one here. This is the other color of the frame. So this is I know some of you are just listening in but I'm just showing a image of what my product looked like. Looks like. This is Jigsawdio and it is a physical acrylic jigsaw puzzle that you play in a displayable frame.

And so this is the frame top. You can take it off, obviously, to play the puzzle and it holds the pieces in place. But there you can play different size puzzles and they're custom photo puzzles. So the family members typically would create the puzzles on my app and they would upload images and pick templates and decide how many pieces.

It could be 12 pieces, usually if they're really further along in their disease or people in our study are in memory care units, and so having big 12. Pieces are good and they play them in the displayable frame and as they're playing them, I don't have it on right now, but as they play it, they will hear sounds that are associated with the images.

And so they light up if they get a piece in place that has a sound. So if they're playing the puzzle and they get a sound piece and it lights up, then they press it and they'll be able to hear the sound. Aley were my grandparents on my father's side. He was the guy, so she's talking about, these are her grandparents and they talk about their favorite song as a couple, and so it can be music and narration of what's going on in the image.

And so the idea is that people with Alzheimer's can either be part of explaining and doing the narration and selecting the music and the sounds, which we do encourage. So they get to be part of the selection of what they're actually experiencing. And then the families can do it as well. So it could say, this is Sarah, she is your granddaughter.

She plays the piano. This is what that sounds like from her recent recital. So it's just really bringing in the important people, things they care about. I had someone recently do a puzzle from our study and was about this amazing trip they went on in Yellowstone Park with all these animals that they saw, and they had the animal sounds and they talked about their experiences.

And it was just really neat to see people be able to creatively be able to put in their sounds and their images and come up with these stories that are impactful for people. And what's really been neat is I didn't realize how the creation process for them of actually selecting the images and the sounds for their puzzle in our study was going to impact them.

And I think they've really enjoyed that process. Where usually you might look at having to do something like, oh, I don't wanna have to go through these photos and pull all this out. It's a job and it does take work, but it's reminiscing. And then when they can do it together with the family, there's something being done there as well with that socialization aspect and being able to create and reminisce.

[00:22:07] Jared: I love that. I wish we had something like that for my grandpa. That was awesome. And so is it also a frame, like a picture frame also essentially? Yes. Like when it's done, like they just like, I see, okay. Yeah. So when you're finished listening to the sounds and the music, then you snap on the frame and you can have lots of different puzzles.

[00:22:26] Amy: You play in the same frame and then it just stands up. This is the back and it stands up on your shelves just like it is. Back there am I, or you can put it on the wall and they can listen to the sounds throughout the week without having to play the puzzle. So as people are moving along in their disease, if they feel like they don't want to play the puzzle or they can't do it alone, maybe if a family member comes in, they switch out the puzzle and they do it together, then they can put it to the side and they can still listen to the sounds throughout the week without having to do it.

[00:22:58] Jared: Yeah. I know that a lot of what Ty talks about a lot is designing from an empathy first approach. And, this really feels that has, taken place with this device here. You have your empathy for your end user in mind. And just think about all these end users that are just gonna have a wonderful experience through using this.

And currently, where are you at as far as your path to commercialization. Have you hit any regulatory roadblocks and just also how are people receiving it in the field? I know you've had a few studies going so far as well. Yeah.

[00:23:29] Amy: It's been really exciting because since I've recently received my prototypes, I feel like for so many months, I was just talking about it and to actually physically now be able to have something.

I've gone into nursing homes and been able to show it to activities directors, and show it to residents and be able to get their feedback. And so that's been really exciting. And it's actually one of a very important part of the commercialization process is going out and really gaining the feedback from the different aspects of who you might either be selling it to or experts that might be recommending it.

And so it's been really interesting to be able to get the feedback and uplifting because after all this time to show it and then for people to be touched by what they're seeing and want to help you get it in front of people and get more feedback and help move it forward. It's just, those are the types of things that make you want to keep fighting to continue to get the tool out there.

And I think that's what really drives me is that people seem to really want this, they want it for their family members. They're really excited about it. So besides doing the kind of customer market feedback, customer discovery, I'm also now looking into financially what do we need to do with the prototypes to get them to the next step because prototypes are expensive.

And so it's not to the point where I can actually sell it yet. And a lot of people ask me how much is it? How much is it? And we just don't know yet. And so I need to go through the process of understanding what's gonna take to optimize it, to do the engineering, and make sure that we can manufacture it in a way that would be cost effective.

And so that's a whole nother world I'll be in the this summer trying to determine. And in terms of funding, so I hadn't met, the first grant I received was a phase one ST R grant, and I partnered with Indiana University in Bloomington as my research team. And then I also had consultants as well, helping with my research protocol and also worked with,

Impact Embedded my electrical engineering team and Oak City, which was my software app team that I was working with. So there's so many components here. There's the electronic, the hardware, the software, the customization. There's a amazing up and pieces puzzle maker out in Idaho. And so all of that coming together.

For the team, I'm determining now how do I move that forward in commercialization? So that team worked with me on my first phase one grant. Now I'm determining, okay, for my next round of funding to really bring this forward with commercialization, I'll be applying to a phase two NIH grant either this fall or this winter.

And what's amazing about applying for those grants is it really makes you lay everything out that needs to happen. For you when you actually get the grant. So of course that would be majorly disappointing if you don't get the grant because you've put a lot of effort into it. However, that's what you need to do to make sure that you're prepared to actually go through with getting the funding once you get it.

And it does truly need to happen because that process is a long process. So I'm determining what sorts of employees am I going to need? Marketing and sales strategies, the financial plan, the manufacturing facilities all of the whole world of everything that can come along with this. It's a lot.

It's exciting and I'm definitely learning a lot this summer.

[00:26:58] Jared: Wonderful. And does your device get classified as a medical device or does it have an easier path to commercialization than medical devices usually do?

[00:27:08] Amy: Yeah, so that's an interesting question. So what is good about my device not needing to have FDA regulations or CPT code is that I can move forward without having that.

So I've done a lot of research and know that sometimes if companies can be to this place, and if they don't get their FDA regulation, then they can't move forward. And luckily I can, if I did have a CPT code and was able to be FDA regulated, I can only imagine all of the investors that probably would be coming around.

But right now there isn't really the FDA when I've met with consultants from like FDA regulation consultants, they informed me that right now is not going to be, because I'm not trying to claim that I'm improving cognitive decline or that I'm trying to stop that or mitigate that. What I'm trying to claim with the device and what we're doing in our research study is feasibility and quality of life and mood.

And so that's what we're trying to determine. Here, and there's a lot of positive aspects to that. I think anyone probably knowing anyone, taking care of someone who might have Alzheimer's or can be a lot of agitation and mood that affects that. And so being able to do that, not just for the actual person with Alzheimer's, which is more than enough reason, but also for caregivers, which there aren't enough caregivers by far, for the amount of people who have Alzheimer's.

And so that's really important to be able to have aspects that can improve that. And so right now I am not going to pursue an FDA regulation path. However, there is a bill that's in process for digital therapeutics to be considered for CPT codes. And so if that passes, then I'll definitely try to go down that path in terms of payers and insurance companies reimbursing.

That's still a possibility. And so even without the code, and so that's something I'm looking into learning about. So what kind of possibility is that? How do I find out what would need to happen for that to occur? And so I'm targeting this right now towards, assisted living facilities, nursing homes with memory care units, and then also wanting to make it available for family members who want it, for loved ones who might be at home.

And so in terms of moving forward with working with nursing homes and how they actually envision themselves making this available to their residents, that's something that's going on with discussions right now because I perceive it as one way. I think they look at it in a different way. So that's, I really need to understand how do they purchase things like that.

What are they using now? And they're really right now, what's out there? There's a lot, there's a lot of different things people are doing in terms of, there's wearable glasses where people really can send messages. And music and positive things to the glasses. That's something new that I saw.

There's like software games that people can do on their phones or on their iPads, and they have those sort of things. The thing with Jigsawdio that works really well is that it's engaging so they actually have to touch and hold and do something with it instead of just sending messages to them or listening to someone on the phone or watching a video, they have to do it to hear the sounds.

And so that part is important also, the tactile component and that it's personally relevant. So there's actually the Stanford Longevity Center and connected with them and I was learning about when people get older, their decision making processes are different and they look more at what is personally relevant when they realize they don't have as much time left, and so they want to

work with things and do things, and they make choices based on that personal relevance. And I think that makes sense. And that's something that's important with Jigsawdio too, that it is very personal. And so we're combining all those different components and I haven't seen anything that does that on the market.

So there is a lot of reminiscent therapy that occurs and they have like boxes that they keep memories in or different things that they can recollect with caregivers. And the nice thing about Jigsawdio is what can happen sometimes with reminiscent therapy is if the nurse or whoever they're looking at the pictures with doesn't know who's in the picture and the person with Alzheimer's doesn't know who's in the picture, then that's not gonna be a very positive result.

And so that's what's nice with Jigsawdio, or you're not going to have to, because it should be explaining it within damages and the sounds of the puzzle.

[00:31:49] Ty: Do you mind touching on I think one of the observations you mentioned was that music and particularly reminiscent music was meaningful. Do you mind touching on that just a bit?

Because I think that's part of the storytelling aspect too, right? That can help jog some of that memory.

[00:32:02] Amy: Yes, definitely. So there's been a lot of studies about music and memory and so they definitely focus on how the music needs to be personable. So you can't personal, so you can't just play any music and just

think this is gonna improve someone's mood. It's really important that it's personal to them and something that they enjoy hearing and that they selected. And so yeah, being able to have upload, not just narration and listening to the sound of someone's familiar voice, which actually there's studies out there showing that

if you're listening to someone talking, if it's a familiar voice, you can understand it better. So someone who's confused or might be having hard of hearing, they can actually understand what you're saying better if the voice is familiar and they know it. But besides the familiar voices, the music as a really important component because it could be tied to that time that the picture was taken.

Or we did a wedding puzzle for one of the participants and they put in their wedding song or the song they listened to in the car when they left. And just some really neat aspects of that really brings out the emotion in people in a way that has been studied through a lot of different programs and so I'm really glad that we are able to bring into the music component to it.

They're seeing a lot of positive results from that.

[00:33:20] Jared: Yeah. There was a resident one of my parents had their old folks home where she was a opera singer in life when she was younger and her family would request that we would play like songs that she used to perform.

And she would sing it like she would be laying in bed and it was like, it was so loud. It was she was so good still. And like that music aspect it like brightens their day, and to be able to incorporate that into your device where they get to see their loved ones as well and hear those stories again and get reminisced.

I can only imagine how wonderful that is.

[00:33:54] Amy: Yeah, there's reading a study recently that was done through Duke where they were bringing personal music to people who were suffering from memory loss in their hospital stays. And so the people in the study would bring music based on what they liked and their personal

interest and the feedback in the end was that they actually preferred their stay and it improved the value of their stay because of that. And so that was really interesting to me that it couldn't be impactful that much. So

[00:34:25] Jared: Yeah. Sure is. And I guess, as we're wrapping things up here, I am curious of, you're somebody that went out there and you took a risk. Anybody that starts a business, you're taking on tons of risk. And I think there's a lot of people that have great ideas and they just don't go after it, they're afraid to. And can you speak to those folks that are out there that

want to, or maybe they, like I said they need that little boost of courage to go out there and get after it in life. What does it take to overcome that fear of failure to go, you know what, I'm gonna go do this thing. There's lives that can change because of my idea.

Oh wow. I feel like there's been so many things along the way that have encouraged me. I think it could be I remember just one of the consultants that I was working with and I reached out to her. She has a background in nostalgia and does a lot of research in that area, and just getting feedback on the idea.

[00:35:19] Amy: And I remember that was early on in her saying. Yes, I think this really could be impactful for people and it could be really important and I'll never forget that because that was a time when you were just wondering is, yeah, am I really gonna go down this path and push it forward? And for her to say that just lifted my spirits up and motivated me.

And even when speaking with Ty and him telling me about, The National Institutes of Health grant and different paths that you can take. Sometimes when you hit a wall with what you think your path is gonna be, and then someone can redirect you towards a different way, and then things start to roll.

It gives you that encouragement. And I definitely think there's the ups and the downs in the days where it's like, how am I going to get this where I need to go? There's still so much work to be done, but if you just look back and see how far it's come and where you can go and all the people have supported you on along the way, I feel like at this point, like you can't stop.

So I think it's starting your first step is really the first part of courage. It's understanding, what is it that you want to do If you have that in your mind, then digging into it more on all the different aspects. And I remember listening to books on tape, like while I was folding laundry, to help myself understand how do I take my idea and then move it to the next level.

And it's a lot of work. It's a lot to put into it, but when you know you're doing something for the right reason, you keep pushing. And then I think also doors that close, other ones will open in a way that it just allows you to find a path. And I felt like that happened for me, that it was just meant to be.

And so now I can't put it down. It's gonna have to go see it all the way through.

[00:37:12] Ty: That's truly inspiring what you've been doing, Amy. And I think that point you made about like finding that validation going and having the confidence based on evidence that you collected, that this is a logical path forward.

And then the financing lined up as a result of that. I think it just shows that it is a logical progression of steps, even though you can't anticipate that in advance. And it definitely takes courage and it, it also takes like, clearheaded thinking as you're like trying to figure out who am I really solving a problem for and how can I best make meaning?

And it seems like you're gonna be a storyteller at scale in a way that's gonna be so meaningful for so many people.

[00:37:46] Amy: Thank you. Yeah, I feel like if I look back at this, it really is like a big puzzle and then you just carefully start to put it together and then you can start to see what you're making.

And so we'll see what happens in the end. And honestly, if it stopped now, I'm proud that it came to this point. And I think just working with the teams that I have with you and with everyone in the product development. And we had definitely had hurdles of people backing out and major people that we were supposed to be working with and we could have just threw our hands up in the air.

But it all seems to work out cuz the right people come in who are willing to help and can add value in a way that you never realized would. Yeah.

[00:38:27] Ty: Yeah. And there's a big wide entrepreneurial community that we're all trying to support each other and help, get meaningful good ideas out there that should exist.

And this is truly one that should.

[00:38:36] Amy: Thank you so much. I appreciate your support and all of the connections that we've made. I felt like the first flight program out in Research Triangle Park, they were really helpful with all the different consultants and all the different aspects that they can bring to the table to help you evaluate if the solution is.

Something that you wanna pursue moving forward with.

[00:38:55] Jared: Yeah, and I think just wrapping things up, you know you've been on such a journey so far and, people I think have already learned a lot, just from this conversation and, just leaving today for those people that are trying to follow in your footsteps. What's a piece of advice of something you've learned that's really stuck with you, that you want people to know? Yeah. As we part ways today, There's so much

[00:39:17] Amy: just to really realize that you don't have all the answers within you, and to be persistent about finding the right people to help you, guide you along your path and listening to your heart and not closing things off because it's not how you expect and it didn't go the way you expected it to.

We can't ever see the future and we have to be able to ebb and flow, and I think that's what's just really important. Trust your heart. Know where you want the end to be, but you don't have to know the path to get there. Just try to do your best and to be persistent and surround yourself with people that can support and guide you.

[00:40:00] Jared: Wonderful. Thank you Amy. Thank you for your time, Amy Young of Jigsawdio. We really appreciate everything that you're doing. And also we released a case study on ww.trig.com in regards to the work that we've done with Amy and Jigsawdio. So for anyone that's interested, definitely go check it out. There's a lot of great work that's been put into that as well. And yeah. So thank you for everyone for joining us today. Thank you, Amy.

[00:40:21] Amy: Thanks so much for having me.