Florida Dysphagia Institute

Navigating the future of swallowing evaluation and treatment.

The vision

Dysphagia is like being waterboarded 24 hours a day, but support groups are rare and there’s a relatively small research community. That’s why the Florida Dysphagia Institute (FDI) has made it their mission to provide evidence-based information to clinicians and clinical researchers. Directors Dr. Michael Crary and Dr. Giselle Carnaby recognized that a digital transformation would be necessary to ensure better evaluation and treatment for dysphagia patients.

The results

As what started as a conference and research and education institution in 2004, Dr. Crary and Dr. Carnaby had little experience with software development. They partnered with Oak City Labs to take their widely used standardized evaluations and turn them into mobile apps that can be used during clinical examinations of swallowing. We also supported them in developing their business model, launching the app, and continue to work with them today.

The partnership

In order to realize its mission, the Florida Dysphagia Institute needed to create digital resources to support clinicians and researchers. Through our collaboration, we created an iOS app to help them deliver a great user experience and increase efficiency and accuracy with assessments.

“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 | Co-Founder of Florida Dysphagia Institute

The strategy

Before starting development, we identified what their app needed to support customers and made recommendations based on best practices. Most of FDI’s users were on iOS, so we started with developing that first before moving forward with Android development. 

We discussed HIPAA and FDA regulations and chose to build the app without storage of user information to keep from needing to comply with FDA regulations. Once we deployed their mobile application to the app store, we also consulted with them on different revenue models to scale their services.

Flipping the script

What was once traditionally done with paper and pen, clinicians can now use the mobile app as part of the training they complete through the Florida Dysphagia Institute. The apps are easy-to-use and intuitive. The user starts the app and can work through a series of questions. At the end, the user receives a graph output of their answers that can be printed out. Today, FDI continues to innovate in the field of dysphagia management with new technologies that will provide more data and insight into swallowing disorders.

“It was eye opening to learn how important their work is, especially today with an aging population and potential complications with ventilator usage. Being a partner with them, someone they could trust, was an incredible experience.”

Carol Vercellino | CEO of Oak City Labs

Services provided:

  • iOS Development

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