Damibu - helping manage and distribute digital information
In 2011, Damibu was founded by Dave Burrows as a digital technology studio, providing tech-based solutions for business clients. Dave’s experience in the gaming industry helped to foster a creative company spirit driven by co-creation, ensuring both client and consumer were satisfied with the end product. The model worked, building Damibu’s reputation in the public sector for delivering the high quality, innovative products they promised.
Since its founding, Damibu has devoted itself to projects that provide a significant positive impact, such as working with National Museums Liverpool to develop the dementia reminiscence therapy app ‘My House of Memories’. At that time, around 2013, it was widely assumed that older adults – especially those living with dementia – weren’t going to use digital devices. My House of Memories proved that assumption wrong. Co-created with people living with dementia, its user interface and experience was designed to overcome the challenges that demographic faced.
Recognising the potential to improve the lives of people with health issues, Damibu sought citizen facing projects in the health sector which avoided sensitive personal data or medical device regulation. Through Damibu’s success, exciting products such as CATCH, ‘Common Approach to Children’s Health’ were created.
CATCH was designed to solve a problem identified by NHS Cheshire East Clinical Commissioning Group and Cheshire East Council. Data was showing that parents of young children were visiting hospitals or GP services when self-care at home would have been better for their child. Initial research showed that parents and carers of young children felt it was difficult to find high quality, accurate and trusted information online.
CATCH was different. Traditional approaches relied on expecting parents and carers to find the advice they needed – ‘build it and they will come’. CATCH turned this model on its head, understanding that ‘information overload’ threatens to dilute and obscure useful information. Instead of expecting users to find what they need, CATCH delivered the right information at the right time. After a user enters their child’s date of birth (or expected delivery date), the app provides notifications with preventive self-care information tailored for the child’s age and where they live.
CATCH showed the power of information management and availability when it came to childcare, which gave the Damibu team an idea: why not widen the scope? Internally at Damibu, the team referred to the managing and distributing of information as ‘feeds’ of content, which is why the resulting follow-on product was called Damibu Feeds.
NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (LCCG) was the first to recognise the potential of Damibu Feeds to improve information management and delivery within Primary Care. Individual LCCG practices, each with their own website, would rely on emails and newsletters for important updates from the local NHS. If content was created or updated, hundreds of emails would go out, and hundreds of websites needed updating. It came at an incredible cost of time and effort, and many practices were too busy to keep up.
Damibu Feeds launched for Liverpool in late 2019. In a matter of months, the importance of efficient and consistent information became seriously apparent as COVID-19 spread to the UK, with vital information and guidelines updating by the hour. The email-login-copy-paste system would simply be too archaic to keep up with a health crisis happening in real time, risking misinforming the local community about a present threat to their health.
With Damibu Feeds, the majority of practices (often those with smaller teams) had the option to fully automate the website update process. Updating an article would update it on every website, meaning patients were always well-informed with relevant, consistent advice. As one practice manager put it: “Thank you for creating something that makes a busy practice manager’s life easier!
With the resounding success of Damibu Feeds on a local level, the tool is now available to deliver healthcare advice across the UK. Damibu is exploring other sectors that face similar challenges with information management and delivery.