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Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
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7:30 AM 21st July 2020

PPE Manufacturer Uses Health Tech To Care For Each Other During Lockdown

Moodbeam was founded in 2016 by the Gadget Shop founder and Red5 co-founder Jonathan Elvidge, and former journalist Christina Colmer McHugh
Moodbeam was founded in 2016 by the Gadget Shop founder and Red5 co-founder Jonathan Elvidge, and former journalist Christina Colmer McHugh
Personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturer Ansell has incorporated the first wearable device for mental health into its corporate wellbeing programme during the coronavirus pandemic.

Throughout lockdown, the stresses on Ansell’s team have been two-fold. The company has invested in its team wellbeing due to the potential negative impact of social isolation at a time when its PPE products are arguably more needed than ever before.

Ansell has piloted the use of Moodbeam wristbands with team members from its Willerby office in Yorkshire, providing the team with an opportunity to reflect on how they are managing the day to day, whilst also enabling an open communication with colleagues; to ensure they are coping with the ongoing challenges raised by the pandemic.

Paul Bryce, vice-president at Ansell, said: “It was critical that our team continues to serve our customers to the same high level they are used to, ensuring much-needed PPE products continue to reach key workers and help to keep them safe. And our primary concern was to make sure our colleagues remain happy and healthy while they carry out their vital work.

“It’s not easy to truly know how an individual or group is feeling. Thankfully, the Moodbeam wristbands have allowed us to have an overall sense of how the group is managing during these difficult and uncertain times and keep a dialogue open with them.”

The Moodbeam One is the first wearable mental health tracking device designed to allow users to log their mood and monitor their emotional wellbeing with the simple push of a button. The self-reporting wristband, which links to a companion app, helps users to chart their current mood quickly and easily by pressing one of two buttons.

The Ansell team have been provided with their own personal Moodbeam One wristband and encouraged to use the device throughout the working day, to track how they are feeling through the simple logging method. The device’s reminder function has been incorporated to vibrate at agreed intervals to remind the team to chart how they are copying throughout the day.

Paul continued: “The companion app to the wristbands allows our HR colleagues to see patterns and trends, so we are able to have an overall sense of how the team is doing. This enables either the leadership team or the individual team members to recognise when conversations may be beneficial to foster more positive wellbeing.

“In many respects, the UK still has some way to go towards being more open about mental health. We’ve found that by providing colleagues tools to help them recognise their feelings and communicate freely, we’re able to be more supportive. We’re really pleased to see many of the team embracing this tech and hope that this addition to our wellbeing programme will continue to be a success.”

Christina Colmer McHugh, co-founder of Hull-based Moodbeam, said: “There’s no doubt that things have been really tough for us all throughout the coronavirus pandemic, so we’re really pleased to be able to help organisations like Ansell in mental health and wellbeing initiatives like this to ensure we all get through this together.

“Our aim at Moodbeam is to change the way the world sees mood, so seeing organisations adopt our wristbands as a way to encourage more openness within the business world is really heartening.”