First truly social platform developed
Frankfurt am Main (Germany), July 9, 2018 – Around 200,000 people in Germany suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS). With the help of the right therapy many of the patients concerned have found a successful way to organise their everyday life around the chronic disease. A significant number of those affected however, are still quite reserved about their situation, addressing their experiences only reluctantly in the public. Afraid of experiencing disadvantages in their working life, they keep the disease a secret. This often also applies to their private sphere.
To help MS-patients tear down the wall of silence, German digital agency Cocomore has developed a contact platform for the German Society of Multiple Sclerosis (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Multiple Sklerose, DMSG) entitled MS Connect. The portal enables patients to get into contact with each other across regions. Initially anonymously, people involved can eventually connect with each other with their real names.
“We received an enormously positive response during the test phase. Young MS-patients in particular can be more easily targeted with assistance programs,” outlines Hendrik Schmitt, Managing Director of the Federal Association of DMSG. “Cocomore has succeeded in creating an advanced tool delivering unique and unparalleled support for patients and relatives at the same time.“
During the development phase of MS Connect the digital experts of Cocomore focused especially on the issue of privacy: for each contact users can choose and gradually adjust a different confidentiality level. This way they are able to disclose personal information by and by. Contacts can also easily be categorised into different groups, starting from ‘simple contact’, ‘close acquaintance’ to ‘friend’. The user furthermore determines which information will be visible in the profile making the platform transparent and safe.
Additionally the search function of the platform has a clear layout and is user-friendly: users can search for new contacts deploying various criteria, e.g. occupation, hobbies, age, even therapeutic method or participant’s state of health. A further alogrithm enables the search for potential business partners.
“MS Connect combines our social commitment ideally with our expertise regarding user experience, IT as well as social media,” explains Dr. Hans-Ulrich von Freyberg, CEO of Cocomore. “We are proud of the result and confident that the experience gained from this project will help also other people in similar situations to more easily connect with each other.”
While Cocomore is responsible for technical and operational issues as well as maintenance of MS Connect, DMSG oversees content development as well as user requests of the platform. The project is subsidised by German non-profit foundation Hertie.