07 Mar Celebrating International Women’s Day – Myra Robson
Driving Change for better Pelvic Health
It is Women’s International Day today and we wanted to shine a light on a Trail Blazer in the Pelvic Health Industry Worldwide. Myra Robson is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist who works part time in the Lewisham and Greenwich Hospital as Senior Pelvic Health Physiotherapist and on her days off she works tirelessly to develop Apps that make the lives of thousands of people world wide so much better. She is the Physio behind the Squeezy App. An essential App for all women and men to help them with their pelvic floor exercises. Myra has won many awards for her products and last year she was awarded the Anne Bird Award by Pelvic Obstetrics and Gynaecology Physiotherapy Organisation in the UK. This award recognises the contribution by an individual or individuals to women’s health physiotherapy. I caught up with Myra last week and asked her a few questions:
Myra Why did you become a physio?
I became a physio because I was fascinated by medicine and sent off for lots of leaflets…the physio one caught my interest more than any of the others!
Whereabouts do you work as a women’s health physiotherapist?
I work at Lewisham Hospital (part of the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust) in South London
Tell us about the Squeezy app?
I was talking to a new, school parent friend one day about my work and he asked me “What is the single most difficult thing about your job?”. I said it was enabling women to remember to do their pelvic floor exercises, which ideally need to be done at least three times a day. My friend answered, “you could do an app for that!” and the idea was born…….his company, Propagator, developed it for me. It has two key goals- supporting women with remembering, and performing, their exercises and spreading the word that pelvic floor problems can and should be treated!
How many downloads does the app have?
There are over 80,000 downloads around the world so far, which is amazing! Propagator donate 10% of the profits to my hospital and I am using that money to establish an improved pessary service for women with pelvic organ prolapse.
It is only one of 3 apps recommended by NHS. Congratulations. What does that mean to your patients?
The NHS endorsement gives people confidence that the app is clinically sound – it is such a strong mark of quality within healthcare!
You talked about and creating the app for men and for pelvic health for a cystic fibrosis and how is that going?
The company developed Squeezy for Men and Squeezy CF following feedback from other physiotherapists. They are selling in smaller numbers as there are less individuals with pelvic floor problems in those groups, compared to women, but it is great to have them as the content is just right. It means more “housekeeping” for the company as that makes eight apps to manage now (with the new one, Squeezy CX) as each is available for Apple and Android. the latest development is a clinician platform that links to Squeezy CX (a connected version of Squeezy).
What has been the reaction to the squeezy app from the patients that are using it?
When patients are issued with that by their clinic or hospital, it means that their health care professional can monitor adherence remotely and see when people are struggling with their programme. It includes outcome measures and will have a messaging system and clinician tips, among other features, in time. Currently it is being tested in several centres in the UK and abroad. Next week we will be launching our first translated app which will be available on Apple in the Arabic language!
What is your vision for pelvic health?
Patients absolutely love Squeezy and their reactions and feedback have been beyond overwhelming. To be a part of something that has such an enormously positive effect on people is such a privilege and make the hard work well worth it! We have also won awards and I have presented at conferences…all of which has been very exciting!
I would like issues around pelvic health to be discussed as openly as we discuss conditions such as diabetes and heart problems I want everyone to know when and where to go for help and not to put up with problems such as incontinence when we can do something about it! I love collaborating with people such as the team at EVB Sport and gaining strength and presence in numbers to make a bigger impression on the public.
How many women’s health physio are in the UK?
There are around 800 pelvic health physios in the UK and it is a speciality that is gaining more interest year on year!
How can people find out information about A Squeezy app and the next innovations you are developing?
People can find out more about Squeezy by visiting www.squeezyapp.co.uk and we are on facebook and twitter, If anyone would like to know more about the Living With Pelvic Health platform and Squeezy CX they can contact Propagator directly at www.propagatorgroup.co.uk
|Squeezy: available on the iTunes App Store|
Squeezy helps women with their pelvic floor muscle exercises as part of a physiotherapy programme.
Myra was featured in the recent article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5465455/7-million-women-suffer-incontinence-embarrassing-taboo.html . We are so fortunate to know and learn from Myra here at EVB Sport and we look forward to collaborating more with her later this year.