Versatile and comprehensive digital self-care tool receives recognition and award at Naidex 2019
Winners of the Naidex Professional Award 2019, which recognises the innovation that has made an invaluable contribution towards the healthcare profession, MyLiferaft enjoyed a successful show, with clients, carers and healthcare professionals all praising the innovative healthcare tool.
MyLiferaft is a digital platform that allows people to store all of their healthcare information in one place. It is designed to bring care back to the individual, while simultaneously keeping parents, carers, healthcare professionals, GPs and many others informed about the person’s health.
It is the brainchild of Founder and CEO of MyLiferaft Nicola Murgatroyd, who came up with the idea out of the need to keep all of her daughter’s health information in one, central place.
Speaking at Naidex, Nicola told AT Today: “MyLiferaft was a concept that came together from my experiences as a parent carer and the challenges of disparate information being held in different places rather than with my daughter.
“So, I got together with an inspiring team and we then went out and did some research. We asked individuals, carers and healthcare professionals what they thought they would want in a digital platform that would provide health support.
“From the feedback we gathered, we discovered that many other people struggled with this disparate information and so the design team built the MyLiferaft platform.”
A comprehensive and versatile tool, the platform incorporates many different elements to help individuals, and their wider carer circle, manage their own health. For example, you can set reminders such as “remember to lock the doors”; you can schedule in doctor’s appointments; you can create goals; and you can record health data, such as peakflow measurements.
Clare Brooke-Little, Product Director of MyLiferaft, explained: “From speaking to different people, we found that there was no central place of communication between members of a care team.
“Me, as a parent, that’s not my only role in life. I’ve also got a job, I’ve got other family members and I have a life myself. So, we wanted to develop a platform that made life easier for both the individual and the people around them.”
This vast storage of information, as well as being a versatile and comprehensive tool, was what earned MyLiferaft the Naidex Professional Award 2019, which recognises outstanding innovations that have contributed to the healthcare profession.
MyLiferaft can work with voice technology, such as Amazon Alexa, so people can enter data into the online platform as well retrieve data. This allows people to speak to MyLiferaft, which can hugely benefit people who might have limited dexterity or vision impairments. The clever tool also has the ability to capture data from other wearable devices.
“It is very versatile and the scope for where MyLiferaft can go is equally as versatile,” added Clare. “It works well for carers and it works well for individuals. It can also work as a future-proofing measure for people’s health which might change over time.
“We had a couple of Japanese ladies visit us at Naidex who were very excited because MyLiferaft can translate.
“We’re trying to keep the product in an affordable price range for people by using technology that already exists. Rather than designing a whole new speaking system, we chose to incorporate Alexa because it already works really well.”
Nicola explained that over the last two years, she has seen a massive shift in attitudes towards self-care, with people increasingly understanding the need to bring care back to the individual.
This is amidst carer and NHS struggles constantly making headlines, reinforcing the pressure that carers and the NHS face and the need for change.
“The number of sick carers is huge, so the impact on their health, from a stress and physical perspective, is also huge,” Clare said. “But MyLiferaft can help ameliorate this pressure. It’s not just the person, it’s their circle of people that we’re really trying to support.”
Nicola concluded: “That’s what we won the Professional Award for. It’s because MyLiferaft supports the healthcare professionals.
“Self-care has to be learnt. It’s a shift that people have to do in stages and MyLiferaft is a great tool to help people get started on that journey. Historically, people aren’t used to that, they’re used to everybody else being in charge and them being the subject of that.
“MyLiferaft is putting people back in touch with their own health. It’s empowering them.”