Public Health England partners with Amazon Alexa in breastfeeding initiative
A recent survey launch...
Public Health England (PHE) has launched a new initiative to support new mothers and provide guidance surrounding breastfeeding.
A recent survey launched by the organisation highlighted that up to a quarter of new mothers’ struggle with breastfeeding, are underprepared or are not given enough information surrounding the benefits of breastfeeding.
At present, the UK currently has the lowest number of breastfeeding rates globally, where up to three-quarters of women stop breast feeding by up to six to eight weeks after they have given birth.
Named Breastfeeding Friend, the new initiative will be available through Amazon Alexa, where mothers will be able to ask frequently asked questions surrounding not only the frequency of breastfeeding, but how to support the latching process, as well as possible side effects at any time of day.
The initiative is part of PHE’s Start4Life programme, and will also be available on the Start4Life website, as well as Facebook Messenger.
“Whether a mother manages to establish breastfeeding is largely determinant on the support she receives in the first few days after birth,” explained Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Visiting.
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“However, with such short hospital stays, professional support is not as widely available as it once was. To have this back up, which can be accessed from anywhere, will be hugely helpful and we expect health visitors to want to promote the service.”
The digital tool will help support the work healthcare professionals and provide increased accessibility, something in which has been a drawback for many new mothers.
“Health professionals do an excellent job of caring for new mothers, but they cannot be available 24/7, which is where our Breastfeeding Friend from Start4Life is designed to help,” observed Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse at PHE.
“We are working with health professionals to ensure women are not embarrassed and receive timely help.
“Many mothers can find breastfeeding challenging and often this may cause them to give up,” added Corinne Harvey, PHE in Yorkshire and the Humber.
“Support can make a real difference to successful breastfeeding, which is why we’ve developed a suite of digital support services – to complement other sources of help like health professionals, fellow mums and families.”
On the rise: Doktor.se
1. Doktor.se launches as a digital healthcare platform in Sweden in 2016. The company's focus is on the B2B market, with a mission to help members find, book and get access to healthcare services through telehealth and telephone calls.
2. The company offers healthcare services through its app as well as at bricks and mortar clinics. After raising more than €40 million in a funding round in May 2020 to expand its operations both nationally and overseas, CEO and founder Martin Lindman says there are plans to enter new markets at the beginning of 2021.
3. Belgium becomes the fifth market where Doktor.se provides telemedicine, through Belgium's communications company Proximus Group. It becomes the second most downloaded doctor app in Europe, and over 1.2 million patient consultations are carried out, either through the app or at physical clinics in Sweden. Throughout 2020 it administers over 250,000 COVID-19 antibody tests in Sweden.
4. Doktor.se is the most popular digital healthcare in Sweden, used by approximately one-tenth of the country's population. New funds are raised to offer improved services for mental health and chronic illnesses, and to expand digital services and acquire physical services to integrate into its digital platforms with the aim of creating a hybrid model.
5. The company announces €29.5 million in funding from Chinese technology multinational Tencent Holdings. Doktor.se say the funds will be used to make its global healthcare services more efficient, accessible and affordable.
The platform now employs nurses, doctors and specialist doctors, psychologists, and physiotherapists, and is available across Europe and in Brazil.
6. Over 1.5 million people are currently using healthcare apps developed by Doktor.se, either run by the company or through its SaaS licensing business. There are around 900 people employed by the company, and Doktor.se say that the productivity of medical staff using the platform is up to four times greater than those working in traditional services.