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SafeBeyond - An Ongoing Communication Platform (updated 8/8/2016)

Ensure your virtual presence so you can be there for your loved ones when it counts in the future.

Photo of Dov Sugarman

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

SafeBeyond is a safe and secure place where people can create and store messages for their loved ones for distribution in the future even after they pass away (updated 07/17/16). This service enables people to carefully and gracefully plan how they want to be remembered, and to share their words of wisdom well in advance of any future event. This can help give closure to both the dying and those left behind and provide much needed future inspiration and guidance to friends and family members.

SafeBeyond is a a personalized digital vaults platform (Update 7/17/2016) that lets people have the last word on how they want to be remembered, and to be there for their loved ones in the future, even after their passing.

With SafeBeyond people can save and securely store their meaningful moments and fond memories by creating personalized video, audio, or text messages for loved ones and decide when and where those messages will be shared with them.

SafeBeyond is also a great way to store and share digital copies of a family's most important information so that they will be easily accessible when they are needed most.

SafeBeyond users gain peace of mind by knowing that their precious memories, personalized messages, and online credentials, such as usernames and passwords, are safe, secure and accessible. Recipients are comforted and have their burden eased by ongoing loving communication and easy access to important documents from deceased loved ones when they are needed most. The choice of whether or not to access messages remains in the control of recipients. The platform sends them an email that a message awaits them with a clickable link to the content, so they can access it if and when they wish (Updated 08/08/2016).

Additionally, SafeBeyond provides family members with a useful tool to enrich their relationship and interaction with dying loved ones by enabling a meaningful, creative process together, with the added value of a tangible output of personalized future messages to other family members including children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Refinement Stage Inputs (Updated 07/31/2016)

Unanswered Key questions 

  1. How to overcome obstacles to engagement?
    1. What tools can help users more easily create personalized messages?
    2. How can we encourage them to create their network of the key people in their lives?
    3. How can we identify the personal meaningful triggers (such as birthdays, family events, etc) around which users will want to create future messages for loved ones?
  2.  How to best reach target audiences?
    1. What are the moments in life when people are most ready to think about a future without them and what they might want to say to their loved ones then?
    2. How do we achieve the right product positioning where the subject is meaningful not morbid? Fun not trivialized?
  3. What are the barriers to people thinking about their mortality?
  4. Possible prototype responses - 
    1. SafeBeyond as a Life Review tool -  practical next steps - establish partnerships with a home care, a senior center and a hospice to test pilots in community group setting vs individual home setting at different points on the continuum of end-of-life.  Track family member engagement and ages of participants and gather ongoing feedback in an iterative manner to further optimize introduction and use of SafeBeyond.
    2.  Offering SafeBeyond "create a legacy workshops" for hospitals, outpatient clinics, and community centers so people can be guided through various approaches and supported in actually activating an account. This could be timed around a particular holiday or memorial event of significance which would resonate with the date chosen to hold an event. (e.g  National healthcare Decisions Day, Dia de los Muertos)

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

The service has been live since September 2015. We currently have over 20,000 users (updated 7/31/16). Based on input received from them, we are working on product improvements to make the process of message creation easier. These changes have led to a huge increase in the amount of users who are creating and saving first and second messages, but we know there is still much more we can do. One challenge is to make the experience more fun and engaging while not trivializing things.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

1) We would love to brain storm with people with experience in end of life care to better understand the process and when might be the right timing to work with the SafeBeyond platform
2) We would love introductions to places where we can share SafeBeyond with potential users
3) We love to collaborate and are actively looking for synergistic partnerships
4) Research to see if using our service can measurably improve the end of life experience
4) Design and usability input is always welcome

Tell us about your work experience:

SafeBeyond is a mission-driven venture led by a passionate team with proven ability to execute at scale. The team has relevant experience in fund raising, building and scaling consumer businesses, online marketing, customer service, business development, and services for seniors.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual


Join the conversation:

Photo of Stephen

I love the platform of the digital vault that provides a common space for practical information needed by those left behind, as well as the personal messages that can be encompassed in an "Emotional Will." It seems particularly salient in this information age to think about inheriting information. I appreciate the openness to working with end of life experts to think through the many issues that will be involved, especially since there are likely many idiosyncrasies of unique individual situations. For me personally, I wonder how much the "heirs" are prepared to receive messages timed for receipt years after someone's death. It seems like it could be truly haunting for some, even when the intent is positive connection beyond the grave.  

Photo of Dov

Thank you for your comments Stephen Yungbluth .

We are sensitive to the point you raised about how recipients may feel about receiving messages in the future from deceased loved ones. One of the ways we have handled this is that we don't stream the messages to recipients. Rather, we send them an email that a message awaits them and give them full control on whether to access it at all and if so, when and where they would like to do so. 
We welcome additional ideas from the community on how to approach this important issue.

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