Today (November 30) The Teal App launches in the UK and it’s designed for people like me. Those who live with anaphylaxis.
I am very honoured to have been asked to be the UK Ambassador, and to talk about and represent the Teal App in this country and raise awareness of it in my own circles and beyond.
I’ve been trying it out myself over the last few weeks and I’m thrilled to be associated with something so simple which could actually SAVE A LIFE.
Like Caron and Joey, who both have personal reasons for involvement in the evolution of this app for allergy sufferers, I have my own life experience of being an allergy sufferer. I’ve gone into anaphylactic shock several times in my life and I’ve been very lucky that when those incidents have happened, I’ve been with a loved one who knows what to do.
The Teal App acts as a loved one on your phone and in your pocket or handbag when you are alone, with strangers, in a strange place or another country – or anywhere where you cannot speak the language.
The inspiration for building my own company was to provide food products that are safe for people who live with food allergies or intolerance. To align myself with someone else who has similar motivation is utterly humbling.
This is why I’m so passionate about this app and the fact that it could actually save a life – today, tomorrow, next month, next year…
The Teal App:
The Teal App is the brainchild of American businessman Joey DiGangi, who lives near State College, Pennsylvania and Caron Pollard of London, who founded The Coza Group.
The US version of the app, the EpiCenter App, was created by Joey’s company, AssureTech, LLC, along with equity partner Kdan Mobile Software, and has been live in the USA for six months. It’s the UK adaptation of AssureTech’s software that includes country-specific functions like the food diary and ladder challenges. The Teal App was made possible through the collaborative work between AssureTech and The Coza Group.
What is your personal story with allergies?
I have a nut allergy which was identified when I was a baby. My parents, unknowingly gave me ice cream that contained traces of nuts, and I went into anaphylactic shock. It must have terrified them.
How did that affect your day to day living?
I have lived with this allergy for years, and during my school years, I even began to think about how software could support other people like me, but I didn’t get around to putting the ideas into action. In fact I was rather lax often forgetting to take my allergy pen with me and, to be honest, on occasion not giving it a lot of thought. I suppose I’d got to a position where my world felt safe – my friends knew, my family knew – all was okay. It was not until a few years ago while working for a software company in Taiwan that I almost died after eating cross-contaminated food from a street stall.
About 20 minutes later after consuming the food, during a meeting in the boardroom of my Taiwanese employer, I went into anaphylactic shock. In fact my colleagues realised something was wrong before I did. Very quickly I couldn’t even speak and I looked very ill – almost like a fish literally out of water.
Were you alone?
Luckily, no. I had work colleagues with me who realised something was very wrong and they got me to the hospital and stayed with me to translate for me and ensure I was treated correctly. There’s no doubt, had they not been there, I would have died.
How did that incident affect you?
When I was in hospital, recovering within a couple of hours, I understood how lucky I had been. It was the first time I realised I was an adult and I needed to take my allergy and anaphylaxis risk very very seriously.
It forced me to recognise how vulnerable I would be if it happened again while in a foreign country. What if I had been alone? What if I didn’t have anyone to support me? What if I couldn’t speak the language or couldn’t even communicate at all? I realised how incredibly lucky I had been. I wondered how many people had not been that lucky?
How did the Teal App come about?
Literally after that event, I made notes on what could have happened if I hadn’t had colleagues with me, who spoke the language and knew where to get help. Then I designed the app around those issues. I developed a prototype app, and then my employer, Kdan Mobile Software backed my vision. Today the app is owned by my own company, AssureTech, LLC, and of course, now it is being launched in the UK.
What are the main aspects of the Teal App?
The UK version has free emergency functions and also includes country-specific functions like the food diary and ladder challenge, and access to the translation cards in 50 languages.
Users can optionally join a subscription community to access other information and deals around products and services supporting those living with allergies – who often find basic essentials are more expensive for them to buy.
Thank you to Julianne for supporting and representing the Teal App in the UK and for including your Creative Nature products in our subscription community within the app.
The Teal App is now accessible via web browser and available for download on both the App Store and Google Play Store. For more information visit https://teal-app.com
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