New app to help informal carers access support during COVID-19 outbreak
Mobile app developer Vidatec is working on a new platform that will support informal carers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The company, which is headquartered in Stirling, has partnered with the University of Stirling on a project aimed at ensuring carers have access to the latest information to help them limit the risks associated with the outbreak and access support during the crisis.
Informal carers, such as friends and family members, of people with life-limiting conditions are faced with a potentially lonely existence during the pandemic. The app will enable them to receive peer support and reduce feelings of isolation associated with lockdown through a range of content, information and advice.
Work on the project will begin immediately, with the aim of connecting carers while reducing face-to-face contact and the risk of infection.
Users of the app will be able to receive the information and support – which will come from a variety of trusted and accurate sources – in real time, ensuring they can continue providing care in these unique circumstances without increasing contact with people from outside the household.
Dr Liz Forbat, from the University of Stirling’s Faculty of Social Sciences, who is leading the project, said: “It is essential to address the support, learning, and safety of informal carers, to enable them to continue to provide care. The project draws on our team’s expertise in family caring, palliative care, and using technology to deliver education and information.
“We expect to have the app ready for use within a couple of months, focused on family carers looking after people receiving palliative care.”
The University already intended to explore the use of a mobile app as a means of connecting with informal carers but accelerated its plans as a result of the pandemic.
Greig Johnston, CEO of Vidatec, commented: “Being able to support informal carers at a time they need it most is crucial and we aim to develop technology that will help them stay connected and support their loved ones despite the social distancing challenges faced during the Covid-19 crisis.”
“Our team is ready to adapt our approach to turn this idea into a reality in a very short period of time. Knowing we are designing an app to help reduce both feelings of isolation for informal carers as well as reducing risk – is something we feel passionate about helping.”
Vidatec is an award-winning web and mobile app development company. It is also the company behind the popular Coach to 5K app, which was developed alongside Public Health England (PHE) and the BBC.