Small World Social encouraged women to breastfeed by making it easier to access resources and support. In collaboration with the Australian Breastfeeding Association, we were able to utilize the latest in wearable computing technology to make this possible.


A new baby is born in Australia every 4 minutes. That’s more than 300,000 babies every year. Surprisingly, breastfeeding isn’t all that easy to do and traditionally young mothers have had the support of older women in their families (mothers, aunties, sisters and grandmothers) to help.

Today, families are spread all around the globe, and quite often the family support women have relied on for generations simply isn’t available.  Hospital stays are focused on the baby’s delivery and are considerably shorter, with new mothers usually home within two days of giving birth.

This project aimed to develop a program in collaboration with the Australian Breastfeeding Association on breastfeeding basics and tutorials using the latest wearable technology from Google. The wearable device displayed prompts of key concepts providing direction, and if needed, personalized help from a counsellor was just a video call away.

A specially trained counsellor guided the mother through the breastfeeding process, addressing any specific concerns and questions through a private and secure live video stream. There was no traveling or waiting. The service was on demand when and where it was needed, no matter where the mother is located.

 
In Australia, a new baby is born every 4 minutes; 300,000 babies annually. Surprisingly, breastfeeding can be a difficult task and in the past, new mothers enjoyed the support of the older women in their family, during this phase of early motherhood. However, in today’s modern world, families are spread across the globe and often this family support system is not available. Many women struggle to breastfeed during the busy first months of motherhood. Small World Social is aiming to develop a program in conjunction with the Australian Breastfeeding Association that combines a cloud based learning platform, Google Glass and live video support. The program will offer an online learning platform with medically endorsed material on breastfeeding fundamentals and common problems. Google Glass will display prompts of key concepts while women are wearing the device, allowing their hands to remain free to nurse the baby. If additional help or guidance is needed Google Glass will connect via a video call link to a Breastfeeding Association counselor. The service is on demand, connecting women with a valuable service from the comfort of their own home.

The Team launched the Project on the 19th of January 2014, with a callout for participants to register their interest, generating international attention from the Press.

After receiving support and feedback from around the world, the Team selected five mothers from Victoria to participate in the trial. The team trained the women in the technology during their pregnancies, and visited them after their deliveries to monitor the trial.

The trial ran for a total of eight weeks, and during that time connected all five women with an ABA Counsellor who advised them on breastfeeding technique, as well as common concerns like baby weight and sleeping patterns. At the end of the trial all mothers were able to breastfeed confidently. 

Throughout the trial, we continually thrived to improve the support services with home visits, software updates and constant communication for the best feedback from participants.

Emma Crowder

Hi all! My name is Emma Crowder and I am a first time expectant mother. I had my daughter Chloe on 3rd March.

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Lauren Clarke

Hello! My name is Lauren Clarke and I am a first time mum. I gave birth on February 24th, 2014 to my daughter Ava Rose.

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Sarah-Jane Bailey

Hello! My name is Sarah-Jane, I'm 25 years old and gave birth to my third baby, named Patrick on the 26th of Feb.

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Laura Loricco

My name is Laura Loricco and I am a first time mum. My daughter Grace arrived on Thursday 27th February 2014.

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Cath Sharples

Hi! My name is Cath Sharples and I am a first time mum. I delivered my daughter Isabelle on February 25th 2014.

Read more

 
 

Small World Social

  Madeline Sands Project Leader

 

Madeline Sands
Project Leader

  Tony Kerr Industrial Designer

 

Tony Kerr
Industrial Designer

  Ethan Fan Software Engineer

 

Ethan Fan
Software Engineer

  Lucy Colman Research and Content

 

Lucy Colman
Research and Content

Lesar Stepputat Wearables UI/UX DESIGNER



Lesar Stepputat
Wearables UI/UX DESIGNER

  Andrew Hibberd Videographer

 

Andrew Hibberd
Videographer

 

The Australian Breastfeeding Association is a nationwide, volunteer run organisation that supports new mothers while they breastfeed their newborns.

The organization celebrates its 50th year in 2014, and its stronger than ever with over 1100 volunteer breastfeeding counsellors operating in Australia.

It is for this reason that the Project Team approached the ABA to collaborate on the project. The ABA enthusiastically dedicated 15 breastfeeding counsellors to the project.

The counsellors each received logins to a Google account that allowed them connect with the mothers, make and receive video calls and advise the mothers in a more personal way. Their expertise and knowledge were invaluable to the project team.

 

After an eight week trial of the technology and counseling service, the Project concluded with all mothers breastfeeding confidently. We are proud to have assisted the women during their first weeks of motherhood and would like to dedicate this short film to them. 

What we've learned:

The Project Team has taken some invaluable learnings from the trial. We have identified a real potential to impact women's lives and childhood health. The Trial found that mothers and counsellors used the service not simply for breastfeeding advice but for other common mother concerns.

At the centre of the trial is the theme of collaboration and support networks, both during development and trial: there are many skilled people in the community who are passionate about creating a better world through technology.

 
The Team behind the Breastfeeding Support Project. (L-R) Elloise Foster, Lucy Colman, Madeline Sands, Kim Jensen, Andrew Hibberd. 

The Team behind the Breastfeeding Support Project. (L-R) Elloise Foster, Lucy Colman, Madeline Sands, Kim Jensen, Andrew Hibberd. 

Melbourne technology start-up, Small World Social has collaborated with the Australian Breastfeeding Association to create a Breastfeeding App that uses Google Glass. 

The app uses step-by-step visual tutorials to coach new mothers as they learn to breastfeed and enables them to video call health professionals who can see and advise them on their health concerns in real time.

The success of the trial also shows the future possibilities of healthcare for people in regional or remote areas.

The Project concluded with all mothers and newborns breastfeeding confidently at the conclusion of the 8-week trial.  Counsellors were located as far as Perth, Adelaide and Queensland and still could provide personalised advice to the Victorian mothers.

As the program has been successful, the ABA and SWS are exploring ways to scale the application Australia-wide in 2014, as well as incorporate ways Google Glass can be used for other health issues.

 

Contact 

maddys@smallworldsocial.com  |  (usa) +1 (415) 361 2682


Images

Videos


Madeline Sands

Media Spokesperson and Project Leader

As Leader of the Breastfeeding Support Project, Madeline Sands is an integral part of Small World Social’s innovation team. She is reflective of her millennial generation – well travelled, highly educated and rapidly changing the world through technology.

Known as an engaging presenter and keen problem solver, Sands has led workshops and innovation teams around the world. She has a skill for combating today’s problems with tomorrow’s technologies, and at the heart of her work is a desire to change the world.

After extensive experience in the fields of mathematics and augmented reality, Sands saw Google Glass as the perfect tool to assist an age old, yet surprisingly difficult health issue- Breastfeeding. Sands has had a hands-on role throughout the project, meeting mothers and counsellors, overseeing design and information strategy and speaking to the media about the project. 

maddys@smallworldsocial.com  |  (usa) +1 (415) 361 2682

The Breastfeeding Support Project has been recognized by a number of technology, health and design Award associations.

The project’s aim has been to support women and raise community awareness of breastfeeding through using new technology and these awards help further that mission.

 

Award

QUESTAR AWARDS
Grand Award- Best of Emerging Media
 

Award

INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARDS
BRONZE Multimedia: Professional

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Award

QUESTAR AWARDS
GOLD Emerging Media: App
 

Award

INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARDS
Honorable mention