New mums in 12 NHS Trusts across the UK will get access to a specialist app to help them breastfeed, thanks to a talented Gloucestershire mother.
Dr Chen Mao Davies, 40, from Kemble, devised the LatchAid app after she struggled to feed her baby.
Following infections, her baby losing weight and subsequent postpartum depression, Davies decided to use her skills as a graphic designer to create an app to help mothers access the advice they need from the comfort of their home.
Her creation, LatchAid, was completed in 2018 and now ranks among the top 30 healthcare apps out of 150,000.
The app uses interactive 3D animations, an AI-powered virtual supporter, virtual peer support groups and online ‘live’ experts to provide 24/7 breastfeeding and early parenthood emotional support.
Davies, who has designed visual effects for blockbuster films including Gravity and Blade Runner 2049, is delighted her app will be available to women across Gloucestershire on the new six-month NHS trial.
She said: ‘Sadly, 90% of women give up breastfeeding before they want to because of pain or lack of support. Unsuccessful breastfeeding costs millions of pounds per day globally. LatchAid uses cutting-edge 3D interactive technology and Artificial Intelligence to support women through their breastfeeding and motherhood journey 24/7.’
Access to the app has been funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). If the six-month trial is successful, the app could be prescribed for free across the UK.