Japanese city tracks dementia patients by attaching QR codes to their fingernails

The Japanese city of Iruma, close to Tokyo, has begun to tag people that have dementia with QR codes attached to their fingernails and toenails.

The small stickers can be scanned to bring up information about the person’s address, telephone number and unique identity number, as well as contact details for the person’s local city hall.

According to the Iruma welfare office, the 1cm stickers are being offered as a free service, and are intended to help family members find loved ones in the event that they go missing.

“Being able to attach the seals on nails is a great advantage,” a city worker told AFP.

“There are already ID stickers for clothes or shoes but dementia patients are not always wearing those items.”

The water-resistant stickers reportedly last for an average of two weeks before needing to be replaced, and are designed to be more unobtrusive than other ID methods such as badges.

Japan is contending with a rapidly ageing population, with 40% of the population expected to be senior citizens by 2060. The country has experimented with a number of responses to this shift in population age, from the use of robots and smart systems in care situations, to offering discounts on noodles to elderly citizens that hand in their driving licences.

Image: Getty

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