Dr. Swenor’s story touched us and reminded one of our members of his friend Mark. Mark is also blind and faces the associated challenges in his day to day life like going to school, grocery shopping, and even eating. But Mark has worked hard to manage his impairment and is now successfully in law school. Not only that, but Mark has turned his experiences into lessons that he uses to teach other visually impaired people how to overcome these challenges. He gives them lessons but more importantly, he gives them hope. Seeing someone that can understand their struggle and how he overcame them is a powerful tool and we sought to extend that gift to visually impaired people throughout the world.
We reached out to Mark who is now on the executive board of the National Association of Blind Students and sought his input on how we could execute that objective. With his help, we concluded that we could create an app that would connect the visually impaired community to each other by facilitating the sharing of personal stories and resources. We worked to ensure the app’s user interface had a simple yet powerfully succinct format. Finally, we developed the app to produce audio instructions to minimize one of the biggest obstacles to using apps for the visually impaired. Our app separates itself from others in its simplicity and its objective. We sought to provide 3 objectives: 1) a safe confidential space to be vulnerable free of judgment, bias, and stigma; 2) personalized advice created from experience of someone who has been through it before; 3) a supportive community providing actionable advice with steps and resources to attain them. It is our hope that this app empowers visually impaired patients by allowing the community to help itself.
Today, we have magnificent breakthroughs in predictive analytics, machine learning, and wearable technology that make medicine more powerful than ever that we often overlook the human connection. However, medicine’s ultimate goal is to care for a patient. We created a new model that looks at the gaps in medicine. Simple solutions with big impacts. We tackle the overlooked problems that can have significant effects in helping patients with disabilities still be able to enjoy the little joys of life.