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SPECIAL MENTION: More than 55 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, and millions more experience social isolation. Enter Crdl, pronounced “cradle,” a wooden musical instrument with electronics hidden inside that’s played by human-to-human physical contact. Tap someone’s shoulder while both of you have a hand on the Crdl and you might hear a violin; squeeze their hand and you might unlock a joyous symphonic swell. The musical translation, the company says, helps those with dementia understand that they are valued and loved.

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