Rachael, A NHS Anaesthetist, created Cardmedic - an app to improve communication through PPE barrier

"I am Rachael Grimaldi living in the UK. I am an Anaesthetist in the NHS and a mum of three. We had traveled to the USA to visit my parents at the beginning of February 2020. That is when we started hearing about COVID-19. I remember telling my husband that this will be a global economic disaster, even though I had no idea of the intensity of impact back then. We had planned to fly back to the UK only in few weeks, but our flights got canceled seven times. We stayed there with my parents for about 5.5 months.

Image: Rachael Grimaldi with Cardmedic
Image: Rachael Grimaldi with Cardmedic

All-day I was glued to the news and could not stop thinking about my colleagues and the healthcare staff. I was going through an emotional battle as I was desperate to go back to work and contribute to making my colleagues’ lives a little bit easier. Then one day I read an article that a 30-year old COVID positive patient was so terrified when he could not understand what the healthcare staff said through their PPE kit. I thought I could remove this barrier by creating a digital app with communication flashcards – such as housekeeping, allergies, past surgeries, or pregnancies.


Within 72 hours I was ready with all the content, and my husband had put the website to launch Cardmedic on 1st April 2020. I shared it with some of my colleagues to use and provide their feedback. Within 3 weeks we had 8000 users from 50 countries. The content is translated into 10 languages and has a read-aloud function to cater to a wider group of people. Currently, over 40,000 people have used Cardmedic with 11,500 app downloads from across 120 countries.

Going forward I need to find ways to keep this sustainable so that we can provide this service during difficult situations, such as disaster relief or in refugee camps. 


I kept visualizing how the members of staff, patients, and my colleagues were going through a difficult situation. I was aware that it was so exhausting and frustrating for the hospital staff to not be able to communicate or comfort the patients through their PPE kits. I am glad that I was in a position to contribute and help ease the situation to some extent. I am truly grateful to so many people who came forward to donate and support Cardmedic. I was awarded the Points of Light award by the Prime Minister of the UK.  "


You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Rachael Grimaldi for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.

If you know someone who is going above and beyond for others, please share the story https://www.youhumanity.com/share-your-story

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