IPOH, Dec 13 ― Having a special child can be a daunting task.
Parents need to plan for their children’s future to ensure they get the necessary training in life so that they can take care of themselves once the parents are no longer around.
Looking for information that can help them along way can sometimes be challenging.
And previously, there definitely was no service at your fingertips that helps one find help ranging from financial planning to professional help.
This is where the Better Life, Optimisation of Money (BLOOM) platform comes in to assist parents in planning for their special needs children's future.
It is a joint venture by MyFinB and Quest International University Perak (QIUP) where MyFinB produces the AI algorithms and automated narrative engine while QIUP provides its methodology and subject matter expertise for special needs children.
It is touted to be Malaysia's first AI platform for families with special needs.
Speaking to the media during the platform's soft launch recently, MyFinB president/founder M. Nazri said the idea to have the platform began in 2016.
“Initially when we first started, we wanted to do financial planning for families with special children.Then we realised why stop there at financial issues. It can be education, medical and social issues that are associated with finance and the experts needed.”
“We realise that we need to connect to the marketplace that consists of experts, councillors and social workers to address the issues and map out the action plan,” he said, adding that the platform also helps specialists and professionals to become better at what they do to help the families.
To be rolled out in the first quarter of next year, Nazri said the company was now finetuning the platform.
“We have built a lot of engines. Now we are doing the final touch up based on what the family wants to see,” he said, explaining that it would be a web-based platform where the user is given an ID and password.
“There will be a free version where we will provide a few pages of meaningful analysis and basic information. For extras, we are trying to get funders to support. Hence this is why contribution from large corporations is key to make it a sustainable and viable programme,” he noted.
For a start, the platform focuses on children with autism but Nazri added that the company was ready to address other conditions of special children.
“We want to see the traction and gestation for autistic kids but if there is a real need following focus groups with parents that AAHD or dyslexic be added, we will be there,” he said.
QIUP's lecturer and head of programme for the School of Accounting and Finance Tanaraj Krishna said the platform originated from academic research.
“We found out that there is no solid financial planning model for special needs children. We have plenty of financial planning model for normal people but none for parents with special needs children. That is how the idea originated.”
“As the research was conducted on families with autism children, it gave birth to this tool,” he said.
He added that once the model on autism has stabilised, information on other disabilities would be added into the current profile.