We develop apps that support people with learning disabilities, activities of daily living, exercise and wellness, through to supporting people with early-stage dementia. We’re currently developing apps to support patients in recording and reporting on their mental health and self-regulation. You can view some recent projects below.


While the projects featured are private iOS and Android applications for specific clients, and not publicly available on the App Store or Google Play, we can license the technology we have developed to deliver the functionality to other organisations to enable us to develop bespoke apps for you, either for private distribution or public use.


If you have a project you’d like to discuss, we’d be keen to talk about how we can make a difference to your organisation.


Early stage dementia Support - NHS Wales

‘Get There Together’ is an NHS Wales programme led by Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.

The project brings together professionals and community groups to create self-help video stories and supporting content to support people living with early stage dementia and their families. This enables them to stay connected in their community and to be able to view videos and pictures what to expect when going out, e.g. to the shops or a hospital appointment, with a friendly voiceover.


Starfish Labs worked with a team from NHS Wales, Local Authorities and voluntary organisations to develop a mobile app – converting the existing web-based content to be more accessible on a mobile device. In addition, we incorporated our ‘Task Builder’ platform to enable carers, families and healthcare professionals to create content relevant to an individual, their home and local environment and specific Activities of Daily Living.


The app displays actvities nearest to their current location using geolocation on the device, along with easy-to-access favourite activities and personal activities.


Originally designed to support people during and post-Covid, who may have been self-isolating for a long period of time, the app gives families and carers a tool to support people with dementia by showing them what to expect when going out into the community.


  • Ability to create, edit and deploy personal activities within the app 
  • Visual day planner facility to build a sequence of events for the patient
  • Multi-lingual functionality – Welsh and English
  • Ability to save favourite activities and download to the device

Vocational support for learning disabilities, Abu Dhabi

Starfish Labs have been working with Al Karamah Training Institute in Abu Dhabi, along with The Priory Group – Aspris and ADEK, to develop vocational training apps to support Students of Determination. Based on our unique Task Builder technology, granular tasks can be created within the app or the web-based back end to support students with learning disabilities training in Il Caffé di Roma. The app supports students in learning the skills needed in key customer-facing tasks, which can also be applied to Activities of Daily Living for supported living environments. The app features the ability for the learner to choose Arabic or English content.


The app incorporates an assessment module, in which a student can submit evidence of their learning and progress through video, photographs or text, and a tutor can assess their skills, recording progress within the app. The data gathered can then be exported as a csv file for easy import and use in the Institute’s assessment software.


At the end of each task there is a gamification element in the form of a multiple choice quiz to test learning outcomes, and recorded in the assessment module.


  • Ability to create, edit and deploy tasks within the app or in a web-based back end
  • Multi-lingual functionality allowing for right-to-left reading languages
  • Assessment module to connect with existing management information systems

Premier Inn app

This native iOS and Android app involved working with the global hotel chain Premier Inn’s housekeeping staff training manual and converting it to a mobile app that would help people with learning difficulties and disabilities to follow the steps needed to prepare a hotel room for guests. Working with Derwen College teachers and students, we created an app that gives the learner the choice of using video and sound – combining video and verbal instructions, Makaton symbols and text, or a series of pictures and text, or all three options, on a split screen, to follow Premier Inn’s processes to make up a room to consistent standards.

Initially being used in the College’s training hotel, the app has been a great success and is now being used by former students who have secured employment with Premier Inn after leaving the college. This type of training app could also be used for staff who do not speak the native language of the organisation to help them learn specific processes.


  • Choice of learning method for each task – video, Makaton or pictures
  • Varying levels of detail for students with different abilities
  • ‘Gamification’ element to measure learning outcomes

Working in: Suite of vocational training apps

We developed this suite of native iOS and Android apps for leading UK special educational needs college, Derwen College, to support students with learning difficulties and disabilities.


The vocational training pathways include Working in a Café, Working in Retail, Working in Horticulture and Working in a Printshop.


The apps enable students, mainly with with Autism and Down Syndrome, and other learning disabilities, to learn and remember a task, or to follow the step-by-step sequence of tasks needed to work in the College’s cafés and restaurants, retail outlets and printshop. Tasks can be customised to the outlet’s own procedures for customers’ orders such as customer service, preparing and serving food and drinks, etc. enabling them to learn skills that are transferable to supported employment. The project was funded by the Marches LEP and Midlands Engine. The apps incorporate pictures, Makaton symbols and simple sentences – breaking down the tasks into small steps that are easy to follow.


  • Step-by-step guides for each task
  • Ability to customise the task for the café’s own processes
  • Easy to understand and follow user interface design

Work Ready app

As part of our project working on apps to support people with learning difficulties and disabilities to gain supported employment, we have been working on a calendar-based app to help learners to prepare for work.


The app enables the user to set up reminders for simple tasks such as when to get up, what is appropriate to wear for work, and reminders to take medication. The app also incorporates geolocation features and links to transport APIs to enable learners to plan a journey, and for their carers or employers to keep track of where they are in case they need support and for safeguarding, with alerts should they deviate from their normal routine.


There is a ‘help’ option should  things not go to plan, along with a selection. of ‘help me’ options – particularly useful for people with autism, for example, who may prefer to show someone a screen to ask for help, than engaging in verbal communication, and a choice of people to call – with the ability to share a what3words location via text message.


  • Support for individuals’ journeys to work with step-by-step guides
  • Ability to track and individual’s progress on their journey
  • Reminders to support the individual through different routines
  • Help facility should the user feel they need support in any situation
  • what3words enabled

Digital CV app

Not everyone performs well in an interview situation.


This is particularly true for people with learning difficulties or disabilities. Many people with SEND are quite capable of contributing to society and to work in an organisation through supported work placements, or full employment. We’ve worked to develop an app that enables people with learning difficulties or disabilities to record their achievements and work-based skills using video and images, and to build their CV through a combination of drop down menus of ‘soft skills’, such as ‘I am kind, I am punctual’, and free text entry boxes for qualifications gained.

Working with the college to include specific workplace training pathways, such as horticulture, catering, customer service and retail, we included menus to select specific skills for those industry sectors. The app can include Makaton symbols to help the user to navigate the menus and to choose the skills that are relevant to them.

The app then generates a pdf CV that can be securely shared with potential employers and which contains links to the video evidence of their skills and achievements.


  • Secure login and mentor/carer access to support the user
  • Secure hosting of CV database information to generate the individual’s pdf CV
  • Links to closed video hosting content channel on Vimeo or YouTube
  • Username and password protected access to employers to view CV