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Cake, Ariadne Labs, and The Conversation Project Launch Web-Based Advance Care Guide to Encourage COVID-19 Preparedness


Boston Mass., July 7, 2020 — Cake (joincake.com), the leading digital platform for end-of-life planning, partnered with Ariadne Labs (ariadnelabs.org), and The Conversation Project (theconversationproject.org) to release a web-based, customizable advance care planning guide that specifically addresses healthcare questions that will likely arise due to COVID-19. This guide is a quick, effective way for people to communicate health care preferences with doctors and loved ones during the current COVID-19 crisis. Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

“It’s very useful for all the right reasons...people in the medical profession know a lot about the science and the disease...but sometimes they don’t get around to what the patient actually wants,” said Don, a lung transplant survivor who has used the guide. “What I like about the guide is it specifically addresses what the individual wants and how the individual plans to be cared for in challenging times.” 

The Conversation Project and Ariadne Labs identified six key preparedness questions to stimulate conversations among families and friends about care preferences and decisions specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with Cake, this became a digitally editable, downloadable form for users to instantly save and easily share their decisions with their families and important people. 

This user-friendly guide simplifies the process for everyday people who might not know how to begin thinking about their health care preferences. With more hospitals becoming overcrowded, finding clear ways to communicate these wishes is more essential than ever. By partnering with Cake, Ariadne Labs and The Conversation Project hope to achieve greater reach and accessibility with this decision guide. 

Though not a legal document, this guide was curated by leading experts to ensure it covers the most pressing questions family members would need to know about their loved ones. Because most people are not familiar with medical jargon and legal terms, this guide was built with the average person in mind. Everything is explained in simple, easy-to-understand terms to break down barriers between patients and care providers.  

While the need for notaries and witnesses can be challenging under normal circumstances, offering users the ability to create and share their decisions quickly online is an innovative solution. Cake, Ariadne Labs, and The Conversation Project are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Together, they hope to use their resources to help more people take control of their decisions and wishes. 

To access the Being Prepared in the Time of COVID guide, visit https://www.joincake.com/l/form/ariadne-covid/?pr. The guide is free to create, download, and share. 


Suelin Chen, CEO and Co-Founder
(617) 512-1592

About Cake 

Cake (joincake.com) is the largest platform for navigating mortality, serving millions of people each year. With over 1,000 articles and interactive planning tools, Cake is a one-stop-shop for all aspects of death and end-of-life including healthcare, funerals, financial and legal concerns, making meaning in your life, and curating your digital legacy. Founded by a Harvard-trained palliative care physician and an MIT engineer, Cake is a venture-backed company that is trusted by a variety of organizations in healthcare, financial services, and insurance.  For more information, please visit www.joincake.com

About Ariadne Labs

Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Ariadne Labs develops simple, scalable solutions that dramatically improve the delivery of health care at critical moments to save lives and reduce suffering. Ariadne Labs’ vision is for health systems to deliver the best possible care for every patient, everywhere, every time. Visit AriadneLabs.Org

About The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project, co-founded by Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Goodman in 2012, is a public engagement initiative with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to have every person’s wishes for end-of-life care expressed and respected.

The purpose of The Conversation Project is to enable more people to sit down at the kitchen table with those who matter most to them, and talk about what they want when it comes to end-of-life care. Through a public engagement campaign, a website, story sharing, and guides, the project encourages people to have these discussions long before there’s serious illness or a health crisis. Many have taken its message to heart, with more than one million users of The Conversation Project’s ​Conversation Starter Kits ​to date. The project also shares free conversation guides and videos for families with people who have Alzheimer’s and other dementias, for families with seriously ill children, and for choosing a health care proxy. For more information, visit ​https://theconversationproject.org​.

The Conversation Project is an initiative of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a not-for-profit organization that is a leader in health and health care improvement worldwide. For more information, visit ​www.ihi.org​.