As patient association, reuksmaakstoornis.nl acquired subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Health in order to develop a smell training app. As board member and project lead, Ilona Owusu is creating a minimum viable product with these funds together with the patient association, while hiring GainPlay Studio for supports.
We love transparency, hence: Ilona Owusu is a voluntary board member of reuksmaakstoornis.nl and founder of NoseMe.com to scale further and in order to become sustainable for the longterm through entrepreneurship.
While smelltraining as a treatment method itself has been validated to be effective in numerous multi-centre studies around the world in the last years after “godfather of anosmia", Prof. Thomas Hummel (Smell and Taste Center TU Dresden, Germany) developed it about 10 years ago, NoseMe is being created to improve the situation for people with anosmia even more.
Our mission is:
☞ Create global awareness for acquired smell disorders (the loss of the sense of smell, anosmia & hyposmia) in the general public, in primary and in secondary care.
☞ Become trailblazers for smelltraining as its best available treatment, while to date even still many doctors are yet to learn about the fact that anosmia is a treatable condition for approx. 60% of patients with acquired anosmia due to a virus or head trauma.
☞ Make smelltraining engaging and even fun for people who need it, so that they can practice it for about 6-12 months.
☞ Research by innovation improving smelltraining with novel design aspects inspired by neuroscience and Ilona's journey to recovery, including data science, towards even better treatment options in the near future, in collaboration with people with smell disorders and together with our medical academic board.
©NoseMe – from osmia suffix meaning “(condition of the) sense of smell – is committed to tackling anosmia, a condition where patients have lost their smell-ability. Though our societies tend to neglect this sense (see Times article by Asifa Majid) numerous studies point out at its influence on safety, food appreciation, social relationships, and through emotional aspects that are also related to the human structure of the brain – even mental health.
The NoseMe solution is designed to reignite the olfactory capabilities of patients via a clinically-proven innovative smelltraining program which facilitates adherence through a 6-12 month protocol.
The renown analytical innovatrice and persuasive designer Ilona Abena Owusu with post-graduate degrees in psychology (University of Mannheim, GER) as well as in Design for Interaction (TU Delft, NL) went on a journey to create minimum valuable world peace – after tackling pride in people with dementia from 2011-2014; she focusses on people who lost their sense of smell since 2015:
NoseMe got kicked off based on both the first-hand experience of Ilona as a patient with acquired viral anosmia and as a published expert in behavior change in health technology.
NoseMe, building up on the work of our key opinion leader Professor T. Hummel (Smell and Taste Center TU Dresden), resides in its novel ability to reactivate neural networks and its use of multimodal stimulations. Our innovation goes beyond the standard treatment as to date!
The data collected along the process will also be used for data science research purposes by our international medical and academic partners in order to improve future treatments based on the innovative nature of NoseMe in comparison to the current smelltraining guidelines.
Loss of Sense of Smell, Ilona Abena Owusu acquires Anosmia due to a flu-virus while on a business trip in Bangalore, India.
What happened after Ilona lost her sense of smell and how she regained it is explained in this video interview
© Erik van 't Woud
The board of the new Dutch anosmia patient association reuksmaakstoornis.nl, from left to right: Kirsten Jaarsma (chairwoman), Ilona Owusu, Jan van der Meer, Rianne Aarts van Grieken (former secretary), Yvonne van Baal (treasurer). New board members: Leonie Plaizier (current secretary) and Nienke Balvert.
The NoseMe team (for one weekend consisting of) Ilona Owusu, Mischa Heijselaar and Valerie Vos wins the best data driven solution award from Orikami at Dutch Hacking Health at the Reshape Center Radboud UMC in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Awarded by Secretary General of Health Erik Gerritsen.
Research with people with anosmia, doctors scientists from Wageningen University & other multidisciplinary international partners, including Prof. Thomas Hummel from Dresden, Germany.
In this phase, Nienke Balvert also joined the efforts of creating an app related to smelltraining. Nienke is a fellow board member at Dutch anosmia patient association reuksmaakstoornis.nl.
© Geerke Vermeulen
Kickoff-of app development together with GainPlay studio, an expert in eHealth gamification solution that got hired by patient association reuksmaakstoornis.nl to help make NoseMe a reality. We have regular reviews with our medical/academic board and our patient association, through which the subsidy by the Dutch ministry of health for the first version of the app to be out in 2019 is financed.
App development kick-off with GainPlay Studio in Utrecht, March 1, 2019
Teun Albers, Ilona Owusu, Nienke Balvert, Rocky Tempelaars, Jan Jonk & Maartje Heere
User centered participatory design & app development process, research with medical, academic and creative partners and additional fundraising…
Media article in Dutch daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad and several regional newspapers such as for example Eindhoven Dagblad including a video interview with Ilona (for a translation from Dutch language, deepl.com can come handy).
Beta version of the very first smell training app with reuksmaakstoornis.nl goes live!
© Erik van ‘t Woud
While NoseMe is still on its way, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the eHealth solution.
NoseMe is currently looking for additional funding, if you're interested in contributing to our mission, please contact email@example.com.
For more information about smell and taste disorders, please visit the Dutch anosmia patient association instead. The current board of the patient association reuksmaakstoornis.nl you can find below.