CardMedic, an app to help healthcare professionals communicate with patients, has signed its first commercial contract, with University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.
NHS anaesthetist Rachael Grimaldi developed the app during her maternity leave, after reading an article about a COVID-19 patient’s experience of not understanding hospital workers through their PPE. She then created the app to help healthcare teams communicate with patients through online flashcards, to guide patients through common clinical interactions.
The app aims to replicate conversations to help overcome communication barriers, and can also be converted to different languages, sign language videos, easy read or read-aloud.
It covers healthcare topics ranging from breathing and heart problems, to end-of-life care and emergency situations.
Josephine Octobre, a practice educator at the trust’s Royal Sussex County Hospital, who has been using the app since April last year, said: “All the basic and essential things are covered in terms of communicating with patients, and it enhances their experience and care.”
“There were areas of the hospital where we found it difficult to communicate through doors and with full PPE. We tried to use paper held up to the glass, but we soon ran out of paper.”
“What we could do now, especially with patients who were hard of hearing, was put our phones in plastic baggies and use them to give immediate information about what we were doing.”
Dr Rachael Grimaldi, Co-Founder and CEO, CardMedic, added: “We are so proud to launch CardMedic with University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust as our Beacon acute secondary care site. Our relationship is a true reflection of what a multi-disciplinary team effort can achieve. Everyone involved shares our passion of putting clear patient communication at the heart of healthcare, improving patient experience and quality of care, and reducing health inequalities.”
The app now has 50,000 users in 120 countries and 22,000 app downloads.