An app helps dependent and isolated people to communicate with the outside world without having to do anything

An app helps dependent and isolated people to communicate with the outside world without having to do anything

The app directly connects calls from patients' phones without them having to do anything

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

Marta Izquierdo is a student at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) who has developed Mirou, an application that allows
Calls or video calls to dependent people. The idea to develop the application, which has been one of the projects selected in the SpinUOC 2022 university entrepreneurship program, arose from the experience that the student had working as a health worker during the first months of the covid-19 pandemic, in 2020.

Izquierdo explains that her first job as a nursing assistant was on a night shift at a temporary center for covid-19 patients in Barcelona. There he went through an overwhelming experience: dealing with
highly dependent patients with very advanced dementia and brain damage who were in isolation. "I remember a specific patient who had suffered several brain injuries and had his cell phone on the nightstand, he could neither move nor speak, but he could hear things," Izquierdo recalls two years later.

This situation, in the initial moments of covid-19 – when the toilets had to be dressed in cumbersome personal protective equipment and spend the minimum time possible inside the room and without touching anything – acted as a catalyst for Izquierdo to begin to gestate Mirou's project. "She thought that there had to be some system so that those people could connect with the family without waiting for someone to pick up the mobile and press a button," says the student.

Izquierdo was looking for possibilities in the market and did not find options that could help dependent people in isolation. At that time he was studying the master's degree in Interaction Design and User Experience (UX) at the UOC's Informatics, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department. "This opened my eyes to ideas in the field of technology and communication," he recalls. So that,
decided to develop Mirou as a final master's project.

An easy to use app

The easy-to-use application allows you to make calls or video calls between people in isolation and an external person or family member.
“When a family member calls the sick person, the call is connected directly without the patient having to take any action”, Left explains.

This simple mechanism breaks the person's isolation easily and without the need to depend on someone to help them establish a connection with the outside world. “It is one more help for the isolated person, but also for the relatives, because many times they cannot communicate with them due to limited visiting hours or because the health personnel cannot help them,” he comments.

In addition, the application also facilitates the work of health workers: «
Health workers are released and they do not have to manage the communication between the relative and the patient«. Mirou thus becomes an open window in the room of someone who, for health reasons, has to be isolated and cannot communicate with the outside if he does not receive help.

A prototype of the application has been successfully tested on a small scale

Successfully tested on a small scale

Izquierdo has already developed a prototype of the application and has tested it on a small scale among patients in a health center. The tests that she has done have received very satisfactory comments, which has prompted her to develop the project. "We want to find someone who has the skills to develop the app and we are open to collaborations," she explains.

Thus, for the student, participating in the
SpinUOC entrepreneurship program it has served “to think about the project, decide where we want to go and establish what the next steps are, and it has given us the tools to be able to do it”. In this sense, he also appreciates that, through this university initiative, his project can be made known to public or private entities that may be interested. "Presenting Mirou to the world hand in hand with the UOC is a great support", he concludes.

What is SpinUOC?

The UOC organizes the SpinUOC entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer program every year. The initiative is part of the UOC's Hubbik platform, created to promote and stimulate innovative projects by students, alumni, professors, researchers, collaborating professors and UOC management personnel, linked to the university's fields of knowledge.


The UOC's research and innovation (R&D&I) contributes to solving the challenges facing global societies in the 21st century, by studying the interaction of technology and the human and social sciences, with a focus on specifically in the network society, online learning and digital health.

The more than
500 male and female researchers and 51 research groups They are articulated around the seven UOC studios, an online learning research program (e-Learning Research) and two research centres: the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and the eHealth Center (eHC).

The University also promotes innovation in digital learning through the eLearning Innovation Center (eLinC) and the transfer of knowledge and entrepreneurship of the UOC community with the Hubbik platform.

The objectives of the
United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and open knowledge are strategic axes of the UOC's teaching, research and innovation. More information:

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