Tokyo-based Ricoh, a manufacturer of commercial inkjet printheads, large format printers and office imaging equipment, announces the launch of what it calls a “digital postcard” tool in Europe to help those affected by dementia stay connected through personalized images.
The tool, which makes use of Ricoh’s proprietary technology and production workflow expertise, sits at the heart of the company’s Printed Memories program, in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research, Europe’s leading dementia research charity.
As the company notes, people with dementia may become withdrawn and socially isolated, and it can be a challenge for families and caregivers to preserve the same connection they once had to the person. Research has shown that photographs and mementos from throughout a person’s life can become a powerful reminder of the life they have lived and the people they love. Printed Memories helps keep these connections alive, particularly when families live away from a loved one who has dementia.
Users simply upload a photo of a memory with a loved one onto the Printed Memories platform. They then have the option to write a personal message before converting their photo into a postcard, which is sent directly to the recipient wherever they are based across Europe. A donation of £1—about $1.34 U.S.—will be collected with all proceeds going to Alzheimer’s Research.
While the Printed Memories portal is primarily targeted at family members and friends of people with dementia, it is open to everyone to use. It is available in English, Spanish, Italian and Polish. More languages will be added over the course of the year, the company says.
The company says back-end process has been designed to ensure ultra efficiency and a smooth user experience. Data is received and processed in Ricoh’s facility in Telford in the UK. The fully automated end-to-end production process requires no manual intervention from the arrival of the job through to set up, print, finishing and fulfilment. This ensures portal users receive a consistently efficient service, allowing them to simply enjoy creating their personalized postcard.
“The generosity, support and technology know-how shared by Ricoh is playing a powerful role in helping those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias to stay connected,” says Timothy Parry, director of communications and partnerships at Alzheimer’s Research. “The Printed Memories portal demonstrates the unique strengths that partnership can unlock in the battle to combat these diseases. Ricoh’s staff can be proud that they are supporting our mission to bring about the first life-changing dementia treatment by 2025 in meaningful ways.”