Age five, Luz Rello was struggling at school. Dyslexia meant learning to read and write was incredibly hard. Twenty nine years on, Luz is doing a PhD on dyslexia and technology at Pompeu Fabra University. Last night Luz was part of a team awarded €30,000 as the winner of the education category of the Vodafone Foundation Mobile for Good Europe Awards for their app ‘Dyseggxia’. It was Luz’s belief that no child with dyslexia should feel isolated at school that led her to develop this app. Based on scientific research around the common errors people with dyslexia make when writing, the app uses games to help children with dyslexia overcome these issues.
Other winners in the health category were Teresa Torres and Laura Estévez, who won with their app ‘Contigo’ (With You). A breast cancer survivor and medical oncologist, respectively, the pair have supported the development of ‘Contigo’ to provide support, information and advice to women diagnosed with breast cancer from the moment of diagnosis all the way through stages of treatment and recovery.
Last night the Vodafone Foundation announced the four winners of the 2013 Vodafone Foundation Mobile for Good Europe Awards. These awards recognise transformational apps designed to improve people's lives, deliver substantial public benefit and stimulate thinking of how mobile technology can improve the delivery of public services for society.
A total prize fund of €200,000 for the best Android and iOS apps and concepts has been shared between 12 finalists, with the winner of each category receiving €30,000. This money has been awarded for the further development of the applications. Finalists in second place were awarded €15,000 and thisrd place €5,000.
The awards categories included health, accessibility, education and the mobilisation of public services.
ColorADD (accessibility category) – the app is designed to enable colour-blind users to understand colours through a simple coding system. Using the camera, the app overlays the appropriate icons on top of colours shown on screen. ColorADD ensures equal accessibility for all when colour is a factor of identification, orientation or choice, for example when navigating the London Underground/Metro where lines are colour coded.
Dyseggia (education category) – the app is a mobile game which uses science-based language exercises to help young people with dyslexia overcome issues with reading and writing. The game requires users to finish words and restructure wrongly-ordered letters, which helps isolate dyslexia-related difficulties linked to handwriting. Evaluation in schools showed children with dyslexia who used this app to have improved their writing skills.
Bribespot (mobilising public services category) is an anonymous service for reporting and tracking petty bribes and corruption. Users are able to report corrupt officials on the go, providing a low-cost, real-time service for aggregating petty corruption data from around the world. Users can report bribes via the website or via the app.
Contigo (health category) – the app was developed by 16 women who have survived breast cancer in partnership with their medical oncologist Laura Estévez, Director of Breast Cancer programme at Hospital Sanchinarro Madrid, Spain. Contigo is an app designed to support women from the moment they are diagnosed with breast cancer all the way through treatment. Contigo provides personal testimonies, interactive info-graphics and accurate medical content about breast cancer. Content appears in 11 thematic sections - the first days, cancer, therapies, the first day of chemo, side effects, diet, sexuality, emotions, sport, recreation and the end of treatment - to help women cope at all stages of treatment and recovery.
Lambert Van Nistelrooij, Member of European Parliament, Group of the European People’s Party, said: “The initiatives we present tonight prove that the EU is on track in turning the demographic challenge of ageing into an opportunity. As European citizens, young and old, we can benefit from the extended development and use of smart ICT-products and services. These innovative active ageing solutions enable us to provide better care, ensure a higher quality of life, and provide for a higher degree of social inclusion.”
Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General, AGE Platform Europe, said: “AGE thanks the Vodafone Foundation for their continuing effort in encouraging the development of apps that better meet the needs of our ageing population. The new themes launched this year are very relevant for older people and the quality of the winning apps reflects how the awareness of older people’s needs has increased among the developers since the Award was launched three years ago. So congratulations to all of them!”
Yannis Yallouros, EDF Executive member, said: “This third edition of the awards proves once again that a joint venture between companies dedicated to accessibility and organisations of persons with disabilities and elderly people can bring changes in society. We thank all participants for their efforts to contribute to the development of accessible apps and we congratulate the winners for their fantastic work; we count on their endeavour to make their apps known and used by many.”
Alex Wyke CEO PatientView and Dee O’Sullivan, CEO myhealthapps.net, said: “PatientView is pleased to partner with Vodafone Foundation on this exciting endeavour. Apps represent a very important part of self-care and patient empowerment that together should help ensure healthcare sustainability.”
The Mobile for Good Europe Awards are supported by AGE Platform Europe, the European network that promotes the interests of the 150 million people aged 50-plus in the EU, and by the European Disability Forum (EDF), the NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities. The awards are also supported by PatientView, a research and publishing organisation which supports one of the most important changes taking place in the healthcare system - the patient movement. PatientView is also the publisher of myhealthapps.net, a new website that brings a patient/citizen perspective to assessing health and wellbeing apps.
The Mobile for Good Europe Awards are part of the Vodafone Foundation’s Mobile for Good programme, which supports initiatives around the world which use mobile technology to drive positive social change. The Mobile for Good Europe Awards were built on the success of the Smart Accessibility Awards in 2011 and 2012 expanding to cover health, education as well as the consideration of how mobile can improve the delivery of public services for the benefit of society.
Andrew Dunnett, Vodafone Group Director Sustainability & Vodafone Foundation, said: “Mobile technology is transforming the way people live their lives. The winners of the Mobile for Good Europe Awards clearly highlight the potential of mobile technology to empower people in every aspect of life. Whether as a tool to support learning, to improve healthcare or to enable easy access to public services and information, these apps are making a real difference to people’s lives."
Enquiries: Vodafone Group
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Notes to Editors
For more information about the Vodafone Foundation Mobile for Good Europe Awards, please visit www.mobileforgoodeuropeawards.com
About Vodafone Foundation
The Vodafone Foundation invests in the communities in which Vodafone operates and is at the centre of a network of global and local social investment programmes.
In countries in which Vodafone operates, social investment is delivered by a unique footprint of 28 Vodafone Foundations and social investment programmes. These programmes are directed and chosen by the Foundation Trustees and receive funding from the Vodafone Foundation in the UK as well as their local Vodafone company. (For more information about Vodafone Group, please see below).
The Vodafone Foundation is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered number 1089625).
About AGE Platform Europe
AGE Platform Europe is a European network of more than 165 organisations of, and for, people aged 50+ and represents over 30 million older people in Europe. AGE aims to voice and promote the interests of the 150 million inhabitants aged 50+ in the European Union and to raise awareness of the issues that concern them most. AGE strongly believes that accessible technologies can promote independent living, social inclusion, and active participation of older people in society and equal opportunities for all. Its work in this area aims at ensuring that technological developments meet the needs and expectations of older people. www.age-platform.eu
About the European Disability Forum (EDF)
EDF is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe. The mission of EDF is to ensure disabled people full access to fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe. EDF works closely with the European institutions, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. http://www.edf-feph.org/
PatientView is a research and publishing organization that supports one of the most important changes taking place in the healthcare system - the patient movement. PatientView is also the publisher of myhealthapps.net, a new website that brings a patient/citizen perspective to assessing health and wellbeing apps.
Vodafone is one of the world's largest mobile communications companies by revenue with approximately 411 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets as of 30 September 2013. Vodafone has equity interests in telecommunications operations in nearly 30 countries and around 50 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com