- Your Creative Agency
Shifra offers refugee women instant access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services in their native language. The app provides local, evidence-based health information in multiple languages for communities with varying levels of language and health literacy. The app also directs users to trusted clinics where they can access respectful and safe care.
Each year Australia welcomes approximately 20,000 individuals seeking safety. These numbers contextualise the user need to create streamlined services for refugees and new migrants who are trying to navigate a new health system and country.
It is with first-hand experience working with new migrant women that our client midwife, Rebeccah Bartlett, realised the need for quick, safe access to local healthcare information.
Creating Shifra has been multi-disciplinary and cross-industry intuitive. Self-funded with design and digital development partners Your Creative Agency, the team have spent 3 years understanding the user journeys of new migrants and designing to their needs.
Since MVP launch two years ago, we’ve been found organically via Google by hundreds of people, likely in need. Shifra stands as a benchmark for tech for good. Demonstrating the power of the internet to reach and empower people with valuable information.
Shifra’s potential for impact on the lives of refugees has been recognised, winning the 2019 Global Techfugees Health Award in Paris for impact in addressing the needs of displaced people.
Shifra is now offered across the majority women’s hospitals across Victoria to new mothers from culturally diverse backgrounds.
This impact is incredible considering that Rebeccah and the team have self-funded the project for years.
Throughout the iterative design process, Shifra has held multiple co-design sessions with women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, many of whom also experience low literacy rates in their native tongue. These women lived in the City of Yarra, Greater Dandenong area or within the northwest corridor of Melbourne. Languages spoken include Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Khmer, Somali, Hindi, Urdu, Burmese and Tigrinya.
The communities’ requests for this type of content reflects areas of Australia’s healthcare system where women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds backgrounds currently experience poorer health outcomes and health engagement rates compared to most Australian-born women.
Shifra itself transforms the healthcare journey for these women, and those who will arrive in the future by empowering them with easily accessible and culturally appropriate access to information.
After launching an MVP two year ago, Founder and mid-wife Rebeccah partnered with Melbourne design agency Your Creative to design the Shifra web app into a more accessible format.
Shifra shows the impact technology can have when created by a diverse, cross-disciplinary team. The content has been developed through a co-design framework with refugee and migrant communities through Monash University.
Based on the co-design sessions, heat mapping and user journey work the new version was designed. The new platform provides medically-approved, simplified healthcare information on a range of topics including pregnancy, mental health, family violence and LGBTQI+ rights. With accessibility in low-3G areas and across all devices users can instantly search for information and local bulk billing clinics in their native language. Launched this year, the new Shifra platform is currently available in Arabic and English.
The design framework that has been created for Shifra sets a new benchmark for both user experience design and user research.
Expanding beyond user-friendly information,Shifra’s technology includes aggregation of user data to shine a light on the needs of communities who are usually underrepresented.
In the future we can provide local agencies and governments with an overview of what topics and services our users are most in need of in the hope they can plan more responsive health services tailored to the needs of diverse communities.