We are a group of students from the Design Academy, which is an interactive four-day course for undergraduate design students. As part of our course we are asked to apply a variety of design skills to a real-life challenge. Our particular group is looking at ways to support carers.
One of the students in our group used to be a carer for her mum who has MS, so we decided to look at how we could support people like her. She told us that helping her mum and making her feel more independent made life easier for her too. Using this as our inspiration, we decided to design and pitch an app that could connect a carer to the person they care for while they are away from each other, for example at work or school.
We did some research and found that weren’t many of this kind of apps out there. The ones we did discover hadn’t got have a great response. They either seemed patronising or people complained that they were too difficult to use and didn’t have the functionality they wanted.
We wanted to find out more about what people want, so we’ve designed a questionnaire for carers, and for people living with MS. We’d be really grateful if you could take the time to fill it in. By answering these questions, you can tell us what it is you need and what would make life easier for you. All ideas, suggestions and criticisms would be welcome and appreciated.
We believe that this app will help people living with MS and their carers. It could help them become more independent and increase knowledge of new symptoms that occur. We would have a ‘myths and facts’ section, as we have noticed that a lot of what you hear about MS isn’t necessarily true.
We also want the app to have a medication dictionary and a reminder function. We’ve noticed there can be a lot of confusion with what certain MS medications are for and when they need to be taken.
We’d also like to incorporate a journal to record symptoms. If you record what you were doing when a symptom occurred, you might detect a pattern that might help you in future.
We’re going to the Design Council on 26 February to present our idea and your thoughts to the care industry. Your help will be greatly appreciated and hopefully our app will be considered to be developed!