The idea for skritswap came to Melissa in 2013 when she was doing a Masters in Health Information Science.
Imagine your 68-year-old mother was just diagnosed with diabetes. It would be a very stressful and confusing time. You and your family turn to the internet only to find words like nephropathy, glomerulosclerosis, and albuminuria.
Now everyone’s feeling even more overwhelmed.
What if there was a button that could magically make that medical jargon easy to read.
- For the patient, it’d be a huge relief.
- For the healthcare system it would be revolutionary.
It costs 8 - 21 % more to treat an uninformed patient than someone who understands their diagnosis and its consequences.
Research revealed that about 50% of North Americans have low literacy skills, which means they can read, but not well enough for a job application or a children’s book.
Melissa says, "I realized, it wasn’t just the medical documents that needed to be more accessible. It was every life-changing document people sign, but don’t understand."
Melissa's journey began to create an artificial intelligence that would swap complex words for everyday language to make important internet pages and contracts clearer.
From those humble beginnings in Sault Ste. Marie, skritswap is now a Silicon-Valley, Venture-Capital-backed, Canadian startup, with paying clients and Canadian Angel investors.
skritswap's mission is to improve information equity
skritswap's vision is to increase general information literacy