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Reimagining School Preventive Programes

Context: Pekarek Dental
Role: Chief marketing officer / Service Design Lead

How might we to teach kids to be independent in their healthy behaviors and thus  become healthier and happier?

Unhealthy mouth can dramatically impact our physical, psychological well-being, and happiness, but it is not inevitable. Majority of dentists agree, that the most effective is health promotion and education. The point is to start teaching kids and then family. Dental health depends on the educational level of the parents and the way the dentist have to influence them to be better.

Eventhough, we know this, tooth decay becomes one ot the major global health challenge. According to WHO, 60 - 90% of schoollchildren worldwide have dental cavities, about 30% of people aged 65 - 74 have no natural teeth, and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities.

This project aims to answer why these countries were not succesfull in reaching this target, than to define the main painponts of dental care system in the central Eropean countries on the policy level. Than to explore leverage points which might be influenced in order to improve dental health among youth by testing several service propositions with parents, kids, teachers and dentists.

Download my study about innovation in dental care

WHO has formulated specific targets on dental caries among children to be achieved by 2020. The target was to reduce dental caries severity among children aged 12 years to no more than 1.5 DMFT ( Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth index). However, most of central and eastern European countries haven't reached this target. 

How come are the central European countries less successful in reaching the target?

The research consists of an online questionnaire, 14 interviews with key stakeholders such as dentists, dental professionals, school teachers and parents. Than, I organised two design workshops with one group of pre-school children and one group of school-children in order to better understand their relationship to health education.

Key findings

  1. Preventive programs were thrown owerboard.

  2. Parents and kids don't to feel engaged.

  3. People don't visit regular dental checkups.

  4. Health nterventions are fragmented. 

  5. There is a lack of communication between them.  

  6. Dentists are limited in adoption of innovative solutions.

The Research Summary and Problem Statement

In the Czech Republic is missing a holistic approach or connection between different interventons. Parents are less motivated to take care of their kids' dental health because they are not enough educated about potential risk and they lack of connection with their dentists and school preventive programs. How might we to synchronize educational activities between parents and the key stakeholders important for kids'dental health?

The Goals of the Project

  • To connect children, parents, schools, and dentists in an an engaging prevention program and thus supply school-dental-clinics.

  • To motivate dentist (financially) to be more involved in preventative approach to their patients.

  • To enable partnerships and co-create a stronger market for these businesses who are keen to improve educational level of patients.

  • In-long run to provide an evidence of the cost-effectiveness ofpreventative approach to public health organisations.

The Idea to be Prototypes and Tested

The idea is to synchronise learning process of the key stakeholders important for kids' dental health such as of parents, schools and dentists and to create a framework for a preventive programs for kids between 0-18 years old and their parents. I did more research on how the learning process looks in each environment. Primary schools follow their MPP (Minimal preventive program) which is basicaly a set of lectures usually provided by external organizations. The dentists recomend to visit regular chceckups twice-yearly, so there is a second patern. On the picture below you can see how these two programes can be synchronised together with a learning program recommended by WHO (Minimal dental preventive program) and with home activites.

Umim, Reimagining Dental Care

Umim is a digital service that connects families with all stakeholders important for kids' dental health and makes learning healthy habbits engaging. Our family platform does this by setting, remiding and tracking your regular dental checkup visits and home activities. At Umim you can register to a program that includes a list of all recommended prevention checkups for your kids in the following year. 

The patient journey starts with connecting to your doctor, booking an appointment, reminding key achievements and at the end you will get usefull tips to improve your kid's health. Build life-time habbits with confidence by rewarding your child with fun activities when goals are achieved. Research shows that positive reinforcement is more effective, so we’re here to help you build confidence and celebrate your success.  

Personilised Content Based on the Assesment of Dentists and Lecturers

The platform enables dentist and school lecturers to assess each patient during dental examination and school programs. The assesment directly change the content of the platform and the prevention program is created by these recommendations.

Risk assesment tools help with diagnosis of kids' dental health. 

Disclosing tablets can be used to detect plaque on kids' teeth.

These patients with higher health risk found are pushed to visited dental examination.

The Rewarding System

The research showed that kids are not focused over long time on a simple habit such as toothbrushing whe they are rewarded by kredits or stars. They feel more engaged when there is just the chance to learn and explore more knowledge in an engaging way.