The Skill, initially available on Google and Amazon smart phones and speakers, is able to answer a wide range of personal questions that can cause many pregnant women anxiety or embarrassment. The answers offer information around topics such as antenatal depression, maternity leave and morning sickness – offering expectant mothers the reassurance they need, from an evidence-based source they can trust. For any serious issues raised by the user, the Skill signposts to sources of further support such as NHS services.
With coronavirus being a huge concern now and in the coming months, the Tommy’s Skill enables parents to be to ask specific questions about how the COVID-19 virus may affect pregnant women and unborn children.
The Tommy’s skill can understand natural language to answer questions such as: “What effect can coronavirus have on my baby?” or “can coronavirus pass from me to my baby?” – and the response will be based on the latest advice from the UK government, the NHS, RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) and RCM (Royal College of Midwives).
The Skill also covers topics including mental health, with supportive advice which may be of particular assistance while pregnant women are encouraged to self-isolate during this difficult period.
Mindshare has worked with Tommy’s to create over 400 Q&As on the often complex and private questions surrounding pregnancy, recognising that when mothers-to-be need quick support, they need credible sources of information about their personal health.
Currently, when expectant parents turn to search, they can be overwhelmed with vast swathes of often conflicting information from a huge number of sources, making it almost impossible to know what advice to follow or even which sources to trust. This can be a source of additional anxiety for pregnant women who are already predisposed to increased levels of stress during pregnancy. In fact, Tommy’s research suggests that anxiety affects more than 80% of pregnant women.
The skill, was developed by voice app experts Voxly Digital and was inspired by one of the five Mindshare Futures 2019 consumer Trends – ‘Look who’s Talking’ – which explores how technology enriches the spoken word, to bring a level of intimacy, emotion and personal connection not offered by any other medium.
Charlotte Ince, Strategy Director at Mindshare, said: “Tommy’s is already known as a vital source of credible, midwife-approved information, but we were aware that us creating yet more pregnancy advice content wouldn’t necessarily help people find the answer to their specific question and could add to the swathes of information causing them anxiety. Therefore, we challenged ourselves to make the means delivering our advice part of the solution to maternal anxiety – not a contributor. We’re delighted by the results.”
Sarah Siguine, Head of Pregnancy Information at Tommy’s said: “Tommy’s Midwife is a voice skill here to help answer (almost) any question that people have about pregnancy, labour and birth. Users can ask about their physical health and any symptoms or complications they may experience. The skill also provides lifestyle recommendations such as diet and exercise tips, as well as practical information on topics like maternity leave, pain relief and handling morning sickness. Tommy’s Midwife can offer reassurance and signpost where to find further support. We’re really proud to have worked with Mindshare to develop this Skill and we’re confident it’ll extend our ability to support women during such an important – and often overwhelming – phase of their lives.”
Tommy’s Midwife is part of Tommy’s PregnancyHub, which offers free, expert, midwife-led pregnancy health information for parents and parents-to-be. It provides accessible information about every stage of the pregnancy journey, from planning for a baby to after the birth.