Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Pilot for digital health app for people with learning disabilities extended

My Health GuideA digital health app designed to help adults with learning disabilities communicate more effectively has had its pilot period extended for another 6 months until March 2017.

My Health Guide (MHG) is an app developed by software firm Maldaba Ltd for smart devices such as iPads. MHG is currently forming part of a pilot project with Humber NHS Foundation Trust with 200 users testing out the app’s functionality.

Commissioned and funded by NHS England and SBRI Healthcare, MHG enables users to capture video, audio, images and text in a single, user-friendly format and share selected information with carers, guardians and health professionals.

“My Health Guide helps me to communicate with the world and lets me keep a record of everything that happens in my life!” said Carl Barron, one of those who is trialling the app and who attends Millers Day Centre in Beverley on a daily basis.

“It lets people know how I feel and it also helps a lot with my healthcare as all of the information needed for my care can be found in one place,” he added.

Martin Robson, who has Down’s syndrome and also attends Millers Day Centre, added: “It is very easy to use. I like to use the app to record my drama ideas on video.”

The app was inspired by ‘Matthew’s Book’, an iPad-based, multi-media guide that accompanies Hull-based Matthew Prosser wherever he goes. Prosser has profound and complex needs and his book allows carers and healthcare professionals to understand essential aspects of his care.

A speech recording function is one of the features that Carl uses regularly: “I really love speaking into it and recording my thoughts so I don’t have to write them down. I also like photography and have taken many photos.”

Martin’s keyworker at Millers, Mandy Taylor, is similarly enthused: “It’s just a super gadget to work. This technology adds a lot of independence to Martin’s day-to-day life.

“It helps to build up Martin’s confidence and self-esteem and helping him to manage his health more effectively.”

Carl’s father, Dennis, is already seeing the benefits of My Health Guide: “It’s a marvellous communication tool and Carl uses it on a daily basis. It allows him to be clear and accurate in how he communicates with others.”

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