That’s why, while visiting a hospital in 2010, Breen noticed a problem. When a kid gets sick, he says, parents will take the child to the doctor. If the child is diagnosed with a disease, the doctors refer parents to websites and pamphlets, which are written for adults by adults.
“It’s scary for a kid to live with a disease,” says Breen. “There isn’t much information that teaches kids how to make informed decisions about their conditions.”
In response, Breen developed an application called My Healthy Tale, which is a 15-minute interactive story for children. The app features a cartoon bear who explains diabetes by asking and answering questions. It also includes online resources and a space for parents to contact other parents of diabetic children.
In the future, Breen plans to extend the My Healthy Tale line to cover other chronic diseases and conditions. He also plans to keep the app free of charge, saying that health information should be free.