Since Oak City Labs was founded in 2014, we’ve had opportunities to collaborate with professors, academics and clinicians to develop customized software solutions for some of the industry’s most pressing pain points. Working with professors is a unique treat for our team, as they have spent the majority of their careers identifying a specific problem to solve through technology. Their work is thorough and calculated, making their data and software solutions evidence-based or deep in the study phases of research. By the time we connect on our initial Zoom call, they are usually ready to hit the ground running! This month, we want to recognize a few of the incredible professors and clinicians that we’ve had the pleasure of working with. 

Michael A. Crary, Ph.D., FASHA & Giselle Carnaby, MPH, Ph.D., FASHA
Florida Dysphagia Institute

Before we met Dr. Crary and Dr. Carnaby, our team knew little about Dysphagia and its impact on the aging population. Dr. Crary and Dr. Carnaby have spent their careers researching Dysphagia and various therapy methods that could effectively treat and rehabilitate patients. They came to our team in 2021 to discuss an app that would allow clinicians to answer a series of questions, then produce a graph output of their responses. Their goal was to streamline the process of training that was traditionally completed with pen and paper. After hearing their story and seeing the positive impact that Dr. Crary and Dr. Carnaby have in their community, we were eager to jump in and join their efforts to develop the app. As with all of our projects, we met with them on a regular basis to identify what features their app needed to best support their team. 

We spent the next several months developing the iOS app and creating a portal for the Dysphagia Institute’s team to utilize for online learning, training, exams, and certification. By the end of the project, Dr. Crary and Dr. Carnaby had an evidence-based, intuitive, and easy-to-use mobile app along with a portal for their team.  Today, they continue to innovate in the field of dysphagia management with their new app that provides better insight into swallowing disorders.

“We didn’t have a clue about how to proceed with developing an app. Oak City Labs answered all our questions, was clear in communication, and very responsive. Because of their efforts, they’re helping us to grow.” – Dr. Michael Crary

Laura Widman
Professor of Psychology at NC State University

In June of 2022, Professor Widman reached out to Oak City Labs to discuss her ideas for “The Talk Tutor” – an interactive app for parents to use as a guide when speaking to their children about sex and relationships. After meeting with Laura, we learned that many parents feel uncomfortable or unprepared to approach their children about the “birds and bees”. Laura’s mission from the beginning of her project has been to equip parents to confidently approach their children about sex, and provide them with helpful conversation starters, educational resources, and the ability to connect with other parents who are in a similar stage of life. 

Professor Widman came to our team for help in determining whether she should build a web or mobile application. Throughout the next several months, Laura conducted 100 interviews with parents, teachers, pastors, and clinicians to learn more about how the topic of sex is approached from various perspectives. From there, we listened to the feedback she received and determined what the best approach would be for her submission to a grant program. Through many planning sessions with our team, we formed a design and outline of the application. By the end of our meetings, Laura had a design ready to submit for approval and potential funding! We are confident that Professor Widman’s application will find funding in a fantastic program, and we look forward to future development with her. 

“They’re extremely creative and bring ideas to the table. [They are] especially good at working with designers and engineers who really understand how to make a good design and are willing to bring in new ideas and ideas.” – Professor Laura Widman