• Although the LIFE crowdfunding campaign is now closed you can still join the team on their journey and donate at: http://ouinnov.co/1U3ZYp5

Life-saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE)

A project by: Mike English


WE RAISED £63,126

from 165 donors

This project received pledges on Sat 09 Apr 2016
A serious game for saving lives

If donating via pay pal is not convenient for you, there are other ways to donate to LIFE:

1. You can pay by card through LIFE's personal University of Oxford giving pagehttp://ouinnov.co/1U3ZYp5

2. You can send a cheque payable to OUDT (Oxford University Development Trust) to Dr Sarah Deakin, Isis Innovation, Buxton Court, 3 West Way, Botley, Oxford, OX2 0SZ.

3. You can phone Amy Cox (01865 611556) or Naomi Hope (01865 611529) at the University's Development Office to pay by card.

470,000 babies die each year in Africa on the day they are born. This figure increases to 1 million deaths within the first 28 days. The LIFE project directly addresses this avoidable tragedy by using low-cost smartphones to give as many healthcare workers as possible the knowledge they need to provide life-saving treatment to mothers and newborns.

Help us raise £100,000 to build the LIFE-changing game. 

Meet the team

Introducing our international team based in Oxford and Kenya. Leading the charge is myself, Prof. Mike English. I have worked in Kenya for 20 years in prenatal and neonatal care. Joining me are Dr Chris Paton, Dr Hilary Edgcombe and Jakob Rossner from the University of Oxford, and Prof. Grace Irimu and Dr. John Wachira based in Kenya.


A story of life

LIFE is a scenario-based mobile gaming platform that will teach healthcare workers to identify and manage medical emergencies, using game-like training techniques to reinforce the key steps that need to be performed for a healthcare worker to save the life of a newborn baby in distress.

The LIFE project is both innovative and transformative. It shows the way we should think about and take advantage of the changing technological landscape in Africa”

Dr Wilson Were

World Health Organisation’s Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health


The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over two thirds of new-born deaths in Africa could be avoided by delivering essential interventions including emergency care effectively. With face-to-face training we have reached only a tiny proportion of the 2.5 million African healthcare workers. We need a system that enables everyone to access and learn the essential steps to save babies in an emergency. This is what we will achieve with our LIFE platform. We will make it available so that healthcare workers with a basic smartphone can download the game and learn or revise essential knowledge regularly. 

By using the LIFE game, African healthcare workers in even the remotest settings will be trained so that their first instinct is to act correctly. The game will teach them the latest WHO guidelines, and can also be linked to professional accreditation, with built-in reminders to stay up-to-date and refresh what has been learned.

Please help us to raise £100,000 to build and test 3D and virtual reality versions of the game. This game will help to save lives, and we would love for you to take a part in this. 

the details

Your kind donations will achieve the following:

£20,000: Will allow us to build a working prototype of the smartphone game. 

£40,000: The prototype game will be user tested in the UK and Kenya to collect feedback and drive iterative improvements. 

£50,000: Will allow us to build a prototype version of the game adapted for the Vive Virtual Reality Headset.

£60,000: The virtual reality game will be user tested in the UK and Kenya to collect feedback and drive iterative improvements. 

£80,000: Launch of the final smartphone game in Kenya and evaluation of educational outcomes.

£100,000: Launch of the final virtual reality version of the game in Kenya and evaluation of educational outcomes. 

Over £100,000: We can develop new emergency training scenarios for the smartphone and virtual reality games needed by healthcare workers. 

as a thank you

We are exceptionally grateful for any donation that you are able to make, we hope that our rewards reflect this. Two highlights include:

- Dinner at my Oxford college, Green Templeton. Green Templeton have been great promoters of human welfare and have been generous enough to host this dinner as a thanks. Donors will have dinner with me in Green Templeton's magnificent 18th Century Radcliffe Observatory

- An immersion into virtual reality with the HTC Vive. This will be based in their Slough Headquarters especially for you. 

find us here

We will be giving regular updates on the progress of the LIFE campaign on twitter (@OxLIFEproject). Please follow us to find out how things are going. 

bring us to life!

It is not all about the money. You can help us reach our target by sharing our campaign with anyone you think would support us. We are happy to provide posts for you to share. Please drop us a line so that we can send you the latest updates for your social media channel. 

Thank you for your support, 

Our Partners

4 months, 1 week ago

Mike English and Chris Paton were on the BBC South Today news last night. Watch again on iPlayer here from 3:16.


6 months, 2 weeks ago

We are very proud to announce that we are showing demos of our VR version of LIFE at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) conference 2017 today!

Our very own Chris Paton is at CES in the HTC Vive demo area at Wynn’s Alsace Ballroom from 2-3pm on Thursday 5th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th.

Chris said:“A VR version of LIFE has the potential to augment both face-to-face training and the mobile version of the LIFE game. VR allows students in remote areas to connect with trainers in a virtual hospital ward where they can access equipment and practice performing tasks with a virtual instructor.”

Check out our press release with pictures and a video, and please share it on social media to help us get more people to come and try the demo.


Thank you again for all of your support with LIFE!

9 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi all,

We've recently published a study on enhancing emergency care in low-income countries using mobile technology-based training tools. If you are interested in reading it, the abstract and link are below. 


In this paper, we discuss the role of mobile technology in developing training tools for health workers, with particular reference to low-income countries (LICs). The global and technological context is outlined, followed by a summary of approaches to using and evaluating mobile technology for learning in healthcare. Finally, recommendations are made for those developing and using such tools, based on current literature and the authors' involvement in the field.

You can find the full article here:


11 months, 3 weeks ago

LIFE has been listed on Mashable as one of the 9 most impressive social good innovations from July! Have a read here: http://mashable.com/2016/08/01/social-good-innovations-july-2016/

11 months, 3 weeks ago

The LIFE team are thrilled that your donations have been matched by the University of Oxford Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. It means the crowdfunding money towards the development of LIFE has now been doubled. The ISSF funding will allow the team to undertake a qualitative evaluation of LIFE. This will involve investigating how trainee nurses in Kenya apply knowledge gained from playing the game in their training, understand how playing improved their self-efficacy and examine the wider potential of serious mobile games for training in low-resources settings. 

A big thank you!

11 months, 3 weeks ago

We were one of 12 winners announced last week at the Saving Lives at Birth challenge! 

Here's a picture of our very own Dr Chris Paton in front of his poster at the event in DC.

Thank you for continuing to support us.

11 months, 4 weeks ago

We've now got a sneak peek of the LIFE serious game on youtube!

Check it out to see how the game is developing following your generous donations! We hope you like it.


Today is also the moment of truth for LIFE at the Saving Lives at Birth challenge. Please support us on twitter @OxLIFEproject, and vote for us for the People's Choice Award:


Fingers crossed!

Apologies for the odd font!

1 year ago

If you would like to vote for LIFE for the People's Choice Award there is an easy quick link:


Simply scroll down to the Oxford University project, and click Vote. Then scroll to the end of the page and click Submit! 

Thanks for supporting us!


1 year ago

USAID, the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, DFID, and KOICA have joined together to launch Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development, to find the tools and approaches to help mothers and newborns during their most vulnerable hours.


The LIFE team have been short-listed from 650 applicants to the final 49 for the 2016 call.


Thanks to your donations, we are developing the game in 3D (video snippet to follow) and will user test the game in the UK and Kenya. With the Saving Lives at Birth money, we can do that bit more.


If we are successful, we aim to build on our existing planned work by extended our beta testing programme in Kenya and we will build a new analytics platform and central server for connecting users.


We will also start implementing an accreditation strategy to enable users of the game to claim Continuing Education credits – this will incentivise users to play the game and give them a certificate to show what they have learned.


This new funding will also enable us to develop our business plan for ongoing sustainability of the project, design and develop funding for a larger trail to measure educational effectiveness, and publish the results of our initial work in the academic literature.


You can vote for LIFE as your favourite innovation on the Saving Lives at Birth website for the People’s Choice Award:

Click on this link: https://savinglivesatbirth.net/innovation/2016/innovators/

You will have to register, by creating a new account on the right hand side of the page.

Once you have done this, select the Oxford University (LIFE) project from the list. You vote by clicking the star. Thank you for helping us!

1 year, 1 month ago

With funding secured, the LIFE project has begun in earnest!

We have recruited a new project manager, produced the first version of our VR hospital (sneak preview coming soon!) and started working with HTC to create VR environments at our offices in Oxford and Kenya.

1 year, 3 months ago

Here's a fun spin on the Leti Arts comic strip - now featuring the LIFE team members! 

Fabulous comic strip! Very creative effort from the team. Love it. Fi

1 year, 3 months ago

Here is a sneak peek of our LIMITED EDITION LIFE comic strip created by Leti Arts! Pledge £250 to bag yourself one before they go!

1 year, 3 months ago

Our invited blog article for the Lancet Global Health Blog is now live! You can have a read here:


1 year, 4 months ago

Hello from the LIFE team at Isis Innovation!

We are helping Mike, Hilary, Chris and Jakob to reach their goal of £100,000. A lot of work has gone into getting LIFE to this point, so please help us to develop a 3D and VR version of the game to start saving newborns and making an impact in Africa. 

Best wishes,

Sarah, Zoe and Philippa

1 year, 4 months ago

We are now featured on the front page of the University of Oxford website!

Check it out: http://www.ox.ac.uk/

1 year, 4 months ago

We are featured in Innovation Insights from Isis Innovation! 

Have a read here: http://ouinnov.co/1pvPxxC

1 year, 4 months ago

Don't forget to use the personalised link above to track how far your sharing goes. You can see how many clicks you create and if anyone donates after seeing your post!

Can you raise the most donations?Try it and see...

1 year, 4 months ago

For those who do not have a paypal account, you can donate to LIFE through the project's personal University of Oxford giving page


1 year, 4 months ago

Thank you to everyone who has donated to LIFE.

For those who do not have a paypal account, you can donate to LIFE through the project's personal University of Oxford giving page

1 year, 4 months ago

We have had a sterling start, thank you to all of our sponsors so far. Please keep your eyes open for an article tomorrow in the Oxford Mail. You can check out our interview from yesterday with BBC Radio Oxford at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03krm2z (forward to 1:02 min), and our feature in techradar http://tinyurl.com/h9bdlmg.

Please keep your support coming, we are edging ever nearer to our goal.

HTC matchfunded £20000


generated 367 clicks and caused 9 donations totalling £1130.00

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Lewis Clayton

followed this project and signed up to help

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95 anonymous donations totalling £27973.00

Only project creators and their sponsors can post comments.

I look forward to hearing how well the VR works as an alternative to other forms of instruction.

Well done everyone. You've worked incredibly hard to make this happen.

well done to the team for all the hard work in getting this far!

Great project! Good luck!

Good luck 😊

Good luck achieving your goals

Good luck achieving your goal!

Best of luck

Good luck to all @OxLifeProject! Hope this goes a little way to helping you achieve your goal!

At last! Sorry this has taken so long. Keep me informed of progress!

Sounds a bright idea!

What a great project. Good luck!

Well done, this is great!

great initiative, happy to help in any way xxx

Great work guys! Im sure your hard work will pay off!