Having diabetes changes your life. From one day to the next, you have to become an expert on the disease, calculate your blood sugar levels, eat at set times, and recognize your body’s distress signals. It’s a difficult adaptation to make as an adult; imagine how much harder it must be for a child.
That is why Mirego, in conjunction with Familiprix, undertook to create a fun application called Yüko that allows the whole family to learn more about diabetes.
Yüko is the result of a hackathon in support of Centre Mère-enfant at CHUL, with Mirego developing the application pro bono. “Familiprix, one of our best clients, gives generously to the Opération Enfant Soleil Telethon, and we also wanted to help out,” says Sébastien Morin, vice-president of strategy and user experience at Mirego. “We met with the people at CHUL and they identified the clientele we had to focus on.”
The founders of Mirego make it a point to publicise their willingness to create, at no charge, applications for what they deem to be worthy causes. On the company’s site, organizations are invited to submit their projects directly.
“Technology can improve people’s lives,” insists Sébastien Morin. “We’ve always wanted to support causes and help organizations that cannot afford the cost of developing an application. It’s part of the company’s DNA.”
Some forty employees of both Familiprix and Mirego gathered one weekend in the company’s office to design three different project concepts from which Centre Mère-enfant could choose the one they would like to see developed. “Our employees love taking part in this kind of project: it’s often one of the reasons they want to work with us,” states Sébastien Morin. “They’re motivated to make a difference.”
The application addresses a real need at Centre Mère-enfant at CHUL. First, it helps to de-dramatize the situation by dealing with the subject of diabetes from a playful perpective. Second, since the tablets are available in the centre’s waiting room, it makes the wait easier for parents and their children. The staff have already come back with suggestions for changes and new functions and content. “We look forward to meeting with them,” says Sébastien Morin. “It’s obvious they want to make the application come alive.”
And they are not the only ones to benefit from it. Without openly promoting the application, Mirego has placed it in the Appstore for access to as many people as possible. “Of course, since we don’t push it, there are fewer downloads. But we’ve received responses from families for whom Yüko has been useful. That’s why we do this.”