Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in children. To treat this condition, there are medications to take in case of crisis but the important thing to minimize complications and improve the conditions of the child is taking a fund treatment. Unfortunately, some young patients do not take their medication properly, they forget easily. A start-up has developed smart health Meyko, a small connected animal that will live to the rhythm of the child and accompany him in the follow-up of his treatment.
A way to play down the disease
Up to twenty centimeters, this little robot similar to a Barbapapa is indeed programmed to know the hours of treatment. When it is sad, it means that it is time to heal; to give him a smile, the child must take his inhaler then hug the robot!
Meyko enhances the child: it shows that he is trusted to look after this character, as a pet, It is also a way to dramatize and speak differently to the disease: rather than say Have you taken your treatment?, We can ask him How is Meyko?
“The children did not want to give it back”
Eleven small asthmatics, aged 3 to 11 years, were able to preview the prototype in recent months. The success was such that the launch of the second phase of tests was delayed … “The children did not want to return their Meyko,” smiles Sandrine Bender. “We saw the difference: before, Keliah did not think, now she is the one who claims the drug”, confirms the mother of this girl of 4 years.
Same as Julie, the mother of a 7 year old asthmatic. “Berenice understood the interest of treatment, that she did it for herself. “Usually it’s annoying to do it with Meyko, it’s funny,” exclaims Victor, 10 years old.
In the field of connected health, there are many items for children and Meyko should soon be part of it. Meyko has been developed especially for children with asthma. This little blue connected animal will accompany the child in taking his treatment. This makes taking medication more playful while minimizing the disease.
Smart health Meyko will motivate children to take their treatment
50% of asthma treatments would not be taken correctly by young patients. On the basis of this observation, two young women, Sandrine Bender and Alizée Gottardo, came up with the idea of creating this companion for children with asthma. “The goal of Meyko is to dramatize the disease, improve adherence to daily treatment and make the child autonomous,” says Ms. Bender, the co-founder of Meyko.
Meyko will follow the rhythm of the child, waking up and falling asleep at the same time as him. Meyko’s mood will depend on the child taking treatment. Thus, his face will show a sad bet if the child has not taken his medicine. On the contrary, he will have a nice smile if he is up to date with his treatment. An emotional relationship will therefore be created between the child and his blue companion. Before taking his treatment, the young patient will have to present it to Meyko who will recognize him thanks to a tag. Thus, when the child takes care of himself by following his treatment, he takes care of his connected companion at the same time. “The goal is not to have a strict control of the medication but to motivate the child to take it,” says Sandrine Bender.
Data sent in an application
Meyko has an app for parents of young patients so that they can still check that the treatment is being followed. Adults will be able to monitor daily and longer-term intakes to confirm adherence. These data will also facilitate treatment by the treating physician. In addition, the app provided prevention tips.
“It was important to go to the doctors to find out what they needed to better manage their patients. And families to learn about their daily difficulties, not only related to the disease, but also in their organization or parent-child relationships. To ensure the quality of the product. “
Take treatment becomes a game
In 2017, Meyko was tested for the first time with 11 children from the Nantes region, aged between 3 and 11 years old. And they turned out to be very positive. With this connected companion, the treatment is better monitored by the young patients and lived more serenely by the parents. They are no longer forced to continually remind their child to take his medication. This moment becomes on the contrary a playful ritual, assimilated to a game and therefore to something positive. What delighted his two creators:
“Often, the children took Meyko to school or to friends. They were proud to show it. It allowed them to talk about their illness differently. And they felt less “different”. “
This character was designed, by its shape and color, to create an attachment to the child, an empathy instantly. To make it easier to follow treatment. In the case of asthma, good adherence prevents seizures and complications that can lead to hospitalization. With Meyko, the child is empowered. It is a solution based on trust.