Galaco is a start-up company working to strengthen children's participation and influence in decisions affecting their healthcare. They want to facilitate the situation for children who often find it difficult to express what and how they feel, leading to guardians and healthcare professionals ultimately making the decisions for them.
Studies show that it is important to make children's voices heard in care processes and that playful and interactive digital tools are one way to increase participation. As a result, Galaco wanted to develop an app for children where they can express their thoughts and feelings.
Designed on the basis of clinical research from Halmstad University, we’ve been working closely with Galaco to develop an app prototype that serves as a fun and interactive communication tool. The app takes children through a virtual environment which provides a safe space where they can describe their thoughts, feelings and sensations. Using an avatar sidekick, children can travel through a set of planets and rooms which mirror some of the main components of their life and answer questions with the help of different answer options. The answers are recorded and empower the healthcare professional, together with the child, to adapt the child’s healthcare plan based on the child's viewpoint and needs.
As the target demographic of the app was children, we decided to build it in the Unity game engine. This allowed us to create a highly interactive app with great visuals and animations, made in collaboration with Galaco's art team. On top of this, we were also able to painlessly port the app to Android, iOS and WebGL to make it as accessible as possible for any potential user.
Alongside the app, we also built a cloud environment which stores and compiles the collected data into reports and makes them available for the assigned practitioner. This was built with both performance and cost in mind by leveraging the AWS serverless framework, where most of the functionality was set up as Python based lambda functions which stores data in DynamoDB tables and S3 buckets. On top of this, we created a web-app built with Next.js and AWS Amplify which provides an interface for the practitioner, allowing them to set up sessions with the children and view results.
The app will contribute to increasing children’s involvement in decisions regarding their healthcare, which in turn enables more person-focused care, leading to higher quality treatment and lower costs. At the same time, increased participation by children in decisions affecting their healthcare creates a better experience for them, with less anxiety and complications.
The app is currently being tested by healthcare professionals and organisations. From our client's perspective, the launch of the app prototype enabled the business to move forward with essential pilot testing, crucial for taking steps towards a full-scale launch.
Sofia Lindholm, CEO at Galaco:
As an innovative organization ourselves, we wanted to work with a like-minded company – something that we found in Meta Bytes. We had high expectations of our collaboration partner, especially since this is a project we feel really passionately about, and the collaboration turned out to be everything we could have wished for. Meta Bytes really involved us in every step of the way and kept us constantly up to date with new updates and improvements to the app.
We at Meta Bytes are delighted to be part of Galaco’s journey to empower children's voices and perspectives within healthcare.