Mid Trial Review

Lauren Clarke and baby Ava-Rose playing during our mid-trial home visits.

The project team has reviewed in detail the technical, operational and personal aspects of the trial. Together these methods of qualitative and quantitative data provide us with insights into how people are using new technology, what work-around’s they develop to get the job done and what shortcomings there are in our current approach that need to be improved.

These are just a few of the key taking’s that have emerged from the mid-trial review:

1.     Mums and counselors weren’t just using Google Glass to communicate. A host of other communication tools have been often used simultaneously: instant messaging, video calls (through mobile phone and desktop computers) and regular phone calls.  Multi-screening is common across multiple devices.

2.     Counsellors aren’t just providing advice on breastfeeding but on the overall health and wellbeing of the babies and mothers, encouragement and support. 

3.     Peer community support is the central to the counselling service. Through online community group that was established for the project, we have been able to witness the collaborative online discussions, resource sharing and general support the group offers to both the new mums and each other.

Trial Observations: First two weeks

Community Support:

The Breastfeeding Support Program's G+ Community. 

The Breastfeeding Support Program's G+ Community. 

An active community has developed on Google+ to support all trial participants (both mothers and counsellors).  We started out using this to support the group with technical Q&As. Yet it has quickly grown into a very active community of support and sharing amongst all the participants.

Breastfeeding Support Project Team's instructional videos.

Breastfeeding Support Project Team's instructional videos.

Communication and Technical Troubleshooting:

We needed to simplify our approach when providing tech support. We started out using sophisticated introduction videos, when in fact many participants only needed to know basics e.g. How to download an app from the Apps Store.  We made several simple over the shoulder videos for the women and these met the participants needs a lot better.

New mum, Lauren Clarke uses Glass with a secondary battery source.

New mum, Lauren Clarke uses Glass with a secondary battery source.

The Google Glass hardware in its current developer versions has limited battery life, with live video calls lasting no more than 20 mins.  A simple solution was to connect the device to a secondary battery source. There have also been some wireless connection difficulties, which the team have been able to work through individually.

Overall the approach looks to be working and the team feels it has the potential to significantly improve current methods of support and increase breastfeeding rates in Australia.

This week the team will review in more detail the content, support model and unmet needs from trial participants to see what can be rapidly improved for the next phase of the trial.

Baby Births

As of the 6th of March 2014, all 5 trial mothers have delivered their newborn babies. Each mother experienced a natural birth without complication, and all babies are healthy and doing well. The Project team are preparing to travel to each of the women during their first week at home to provide them with the technology and training.

Sarah-Jane Bailey welcomed son Patrick, born on 26th of February 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.

Cath Sharple welcomed daughter Isabella on the 6th of March, 2014 born in Melbourne, Australia.

Laura Loricco welcomed daughter Grace born on Thursday, 27th of February 2014 in Geelong, Australia.

Lauren Clarke welcomed daughter Ava Rose born on the 27th of February, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.

Emma Crowder welcomed daughter Chloe on the 5th of March, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.

Prototyping: 3D Printed Attachment

Small World Social Breastfeeding Support Program: Progression of 3D Printed Attachments.

After many long design talk with Madeline Sands, Aerospace Engineer Tony Kerr has continued to work through the camera angle issue, developing three new prototypes for testing in the studio week.  The new designs aren’t just brightly coloured they have a new surface shape that is capturing the babies chin angle more clearly. 

The newest prototype introduces a convex mirror system that expands the field of view. A hinge has also been introduced into the design and this will better accommodate differences in angle and position. Tony has put in some really long hours on the project over the last week and is determined to crack the design problem.  RMIT’s industrial design team (Scott Mason and Liam Fennessy) are continuing to support the project team.

Small World Social Breastfeeding Support Program: 3D Printed Attachment with Glass.

Small World Social Breastfeeding Support Program: Printing in progress.

Small World Social Breastfeeding Support Program: Recently printed attachment.

Small World Social Breastfeeding Support Program: Recently printed attachment.

Our trial mums: An Introduction

After the widespread publicity around the Breastfeeding Support Program, Small World Social was inundated with applications from mothers around Australia, who wished to be part of the trial. The Project team studied each application and was determined to select a group of women who were representative of mothers across the country, as well as open minded, adventurous women who were comfortable with technology.

After much deliberation, five women were selected to participate, interviewed and shared their stories with Small World Social.