Frequently Asked Questions

Why My Own Voice

Privacy and Security

Composing Your Answers

Recording Your Answers

Reviewing Saved Answers

Finalizing and Submitting Your Movie

Sharing and Storing Your Movie

Telling Friends and Family about My Own Voice

Technical Requirements for My Own Voice

Still Stuck or have more questions?


Why is considering and communicating my end of life wishes so important?

When you don't consider or share your end of life care wishes with your family and loved ones in advance, you run the risk of being cared for in your final days in a way that you would not want — e.g. being kept alive by machines or aggressive means even when there is no chance of recovery. Of if you're unable to communicate at the end of your life and make your wishes known, you force family and loved ones to guess as to what you would want or make decisions based on what they want for you. This can often lead to conflict among family members who want different things for you or who aren't, frankly, ready to let you go.
 

Why do I need to think about this now?

We never know for certain what tomorrow is going to bring, especially as relates to our own health and mortality. And while none of us really wants to think about dying or our final days, it's much effective to consider and communicate how we want to live those final days while we still have the mental and emotional capacity to do so. 
 

How were the questions in the My Own Voice app developed?

The questions asked in My Own Voice were developed in close consultation and collaboration with numerous healthcare professionals specializing in aging, hospice and palliative care. By no means do these nine questions cover every possible scenario you might face at the end of your life, but they were designed to cover as many as possible. In truth, what is most important about this app is not the questions we are asking, but the answers you are considering, communicating and sharing: answers which should give your family and loved ones — together with your doctors, nurses and other caregivers — the clarity and understanding they need to make the right decisions on your behalf when and if you're not able to communicate your wishes on your own.  
 

At what age should I be doing this?

While My Own Voice may understandably be more relevant to seniors who are approaching or in the golden years of their lives, in truth, anyone over the age of 18 should consider creating a My Own Voice movie. Even if you are young and in good health, you never know when an accident or sudden illness can impair your ability to communicate your wishes around how you want, or don't want to live your final days.
 

Is my completed My Own Voice movie like a legal living will?

No. My Own Voice was never intended to be a bullet-proof proclamation that would hold up against the scrutiny or challenges of lawyers; because frankly, those court battles over someone's end of life care rarely happen. The spirit behind this app is not about law; it's about making your wishes known to your family and loved one so that they can make the right decisions on your behalf (along with your medical team and caregivers) should you ever be unable to communicate those wishes on your own.
 

Why video? I don’t like to see myself in video.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what a movie is worth! Seeing ourselves on video does indeed make a lot of us uncomfortable. But recording your answers on video provides that extra level of personalization to your end of life wishes that a written form just can't. Seeing your face and hearing your own voice express your wishes will also give your family and loved ones the courage and inspiration they need to make the right decisions on your behalf, even when they're tough ones.
 

What makes My Own Voice different?

While there are lots of different written tools people can use to consider and communicate their end of life care wishes, only My Own Voice uses the personalized power of video to do so. What's more, we don't pass along your information or wishes to insurance companies or hospitals: only to those people you have identified you want to share your wishes with. And because your completed movie is stored on our servers, it's available for your family, loved ones and caregivers to view through any Internet connection, versus searching for a written form that you (or they) filed away somewhere.
 

How do I know my movie is secure?

My Own Voice is committed to respecting and safeguarding any information you provide us, and your answers provided when completing My Own Voice are kept strictly confidential. We protect your privacy and do not sell or rent customer information to third parties. We may, however, use the contact information you supply us to communicate with you about your account and stored movie, or to periodically inform you about new resources or information you may find of interest.
 

Where is my movie and information stored?

Your movie is stored and kept completely secure on our servers. Storing your movie on our servers ensures it is easily accessible by you and those you have invited to view it instead of your wishes residing on paper and sitting in a drawer somewhere in your home. Anyone with an invitation and the provided password can view your movie as long as they have an Internet connection and ability to access usemyownvoice.com. 
 

Do I have to answer every question?

No. While answering all nine questions will help ensure you are considering and communicating all of your end of life wishes, you can skip any question and not include it in your final movie if you feel it doesn't apply or is too sensitive or personal. It's entirely up to you.
 

How should I go about composing my answers?

We encourage you to take your time and think about your answers before you start recording them. You should click on the link in the confirmation email we sent after you signed up to My Own Voice. This will enable you to download and print a PDF of the nine questions and considerations. Read through them. Make some notes. You might even consider talking with your doctor about different possible scenarios. Make your answers whatever you want them to be, but to ensure they are clearly communicated and understood, we encourage you to keep them simple and short, especially questions 2 through 8.
 

Do I have to answer everything in the considerations?

No. Those considerations are there simply to give you some ideas on what to think about as you're composing your answer for each question. 
 

What’s the best set-up/position for recording my answers?

You'll want to hold your iPad or iPhone in the vertical, portrait position, with the Home button at the bottom and camera at the top. Tilt your device back or forward slightly to ensure your face is centered in the middle of the screen. And please make sure there's enough light so that you can clearly see your face and your eyes.
 

How do I record an answer?

When you're ready to answer a question, press Record Answer. This will take you to the video recorder screen. To start recording, press the red circle button. Talk as long as you want. To stop recording, press the red square button.
 

How do I review an answer I've just recorded?

While you're still in the video record screen, press the white play arrow and it will play the answer you just recorded.
 

How can I try again and record a new answer?

If you're not happy with the answer you've just recorded, you can try again as many times as you like. Just press Retake on the video recorder screen. And then hit the red circle to start recording.
 

How do I save an answer if I’m happy with my response?

After you've recorded and reviewed your response and are happy with it, hit the Use Video button in the bottom right of the video recorder screen. This will save that answer to My Own Voice and include it in your final movie once you submit it.
 

How do I exit out of the video recorder function?

If you want to exit out of the video recorder function at any time, press Retake on the video record screen and then Cancel on the next screen.
 

How do I review a saved answer?

Anytime you want, you can review your saved answer to a question. SImply press Review Answer. Once at the Review Answer page, press the play button to see your saved answer. Press Delete This Answer if you want to remove this saved answer. Press Save and Continue if you're still happy with it. 
 

How can I change a saved answer if I'm no longer happy with it?

If you want to change a saved answer or just want to try another response, press Re-Record Your Answer. This will take you to the video record screen where you follow the same steps as before to record an answer. Keep in mind that once you're in that video record screen, if you press Use This Video at any time, your last recorded response will then replace your original saved answer. 
 

If I’ve re-recorded a response but don’t like as much as my saved one, how can I cancel it?

If after trying a couple of new responses you decide that you still like the original saved answer better, then just exit out of the video record function by pressing Retake on the video record screen and then Cancel.
 

How do I check my progress and which questions I’ve answered?

Any questions that you have recorded a response for will be marked in green with a check mark icon. If you've skipped a question, it will be marked in grey with a skip icon. Any question that has not been recorded or skipped will remain white.
 

How can I review my movie while it’s in progress?

At anytime you can view your movie in progress by going to Home Screen and pressing the Review Movie button at the bottom of it. My Own Voice will take whatever answers you have recorded and edit them together into one single film for viewing.
 

How do I submit my movie?

When you're satisfied with all your answers and ready to submit your movie, simply go to the Home Page and hit Submit Movie at the bottom of it. My Own Voice will quickly review with you which of the nine questions you have recorded answers for and which you have skipped, just to confirm that that's still what you want to do. When you're ready, just hit the Submit button on that page and your movie will be uploaded to our servers, where you can then share it with others.
 

Can I copy or download my movie?

For privacy and security reasons, your video is stored on our servers and cannot be copied or downloaded. It can only be viewed, and access is only available through password-protected invitations that you manage and control.
 

How do I identify the people I want to share my movie with?

Once you've submitted your movie, My Own Voice will ask you to identify those people with whom you want to share your movie as well as their email addresses so password-protected invitations can be sent. At any time, you can see whom you've invited to view your video by going to My Profile, scroll down and go to Manage Content and follow the prompts from there. 
 

How do I invite them to see my movie?

Once you've entered their name and email address, an email with automatically be sent to that individual. They will be given a password and a link to our website with instructions to enter your name and password to view your video.
 

Where is my movie being stored?

To conserve your iPad or IPhone memory, your completed movie is stored on our servers, accessible at any time through your device (provided you are connected to Wi-Fi or your phone network) or through any computer that has access to the Internet by going to usemyownvoice.com and entering your login information.
 

What happens to my individually recorded answers after I submit my movie?

While your completed movie is stored on our servers, the individually recorded answers that make up that movie reside on your iPad or iPhone. This way, if you ever want to change your movie by, for example, just changing your answers to one or two questions, you dpn't have to start from scratch and can just re-record those answers you want to change.
 

What if, down the road, I want to change who is allowed to see my movie?

You can change who's allowed to see your completed movie at anytime, adding or deleting people from your approved list of viewers. Simply go to My Profile, scroll down to Manage Content and follow the prompts from there.
 

What if my wishes change, and I want to change my movie?

Changing your movie at any time is easy. Simply go to your profile and click Delete Movie. This will remove your movie from our servers and allow you to rebuild a new one. Because all your individually recorded answers to the questions are stored on your device (not on our servers) you can start rebuilding your movie by reviewing those answers, determining which ones you want to keep and which ones you might want to re-record. Once you've re-recorded any new answers to any of the questions, simply press Submit Movie and your changed movie will now be back up on our servers. An email will automatically go out to your list of viewers informing them that you have posted a new movie, so they know to look at it. 
 

What if I’m in an accident and unconscious, how could a hospital access my movie?

We strongly suggest that you carry in your wallet next to your driver's license a small piece of paper that simply says, "I have a My Own Voice video. To view it, please go to www.usemyownvoice.com, enter [YOUR USER ID HERE] for my User ID and [YOUR PASSWORD HERE] for your password." We also recommend that you put on that slip of paper the name and contact information for your Primary Decision Maker.
 

How do recommend My Own Voice to friends and family?

To recommend My Own Voice to friends and family, simply hit the Recommend tab in the menu item on your home page. Once you've done this you will receive an email from us with content that communicates the many benefits of this app and instructions on how to download it. You can simply forward this email as is to anyone you think might be interested in My Own Voice or, if you'd like, add your own comments to it. 
 

Why do I need to be connected to Wi-Fi or my phone network to use My Own Voice?

To conserve the amount of memory on your device and limit the amount required to run My Own Voice, most of our app content is stored on our servers and streams wirelessly to your iPad or iPhone. This is why you must be connected to Wi-Fi or your phone network to use My Own Voice.
 

Why is My Own Voice only available for iOS and Apple devices?

Given the popularity of Apple devices, we decided to build the initial version of My Own Voice for iOS. An Android version, however, will be available soon.
 

Will there be updates to My Own Voice?

This is our first version of My Own Voice and we’re looking forward to hearing your reaction and incorporating your suggestions to make Version 2 even better. Like any app you have on your iPad or iPhone, My Own Voice will receive regular updates to make it current, improve performance or fix bugs.
 

How do I know when an update for My Own Voice is available?

When updates are available, we will email you with directions on how to update your device. Any updates for My Own Voice will also appear as a notification in the App Store on your device. Make sure you check regularly.
 

Whom can I contact for further help if I need it?

If you're still stuck, have further questions or need technical support, please reach out to us at support@usemyownvoice.com. We'll get back to you with a response as soon as we can. And if you have any feedback on our app or suggestions on how to make it better, please email us at feedback@usemyownvoice.com. 


Download My Own Voice for only $4.99

For a one-time cost of only $4.99, you can download and start using the My Own Voice app, and begin recording your responses to the questions whenever you like. When you're video is finished, there's no additional cost to share it with family and loved ones to ensure your end of life care wishes are clearly understood and followed.

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