We built the Vinehealth® app because we realised the potential to support people living with cancer to better self-manage their care through the use of behavioural science principles and digital technology.
What is self-mangement?
Supported self-management (SSM) is crucial for cancer patients everywhere and is an important part of the NHS Long Term Long-term Plan’s commitment to personalised care across the healthcare system.
It means that health and care professionals use information provided by patients to better tailor their approaches to working with them, based on the person’s individual situation, needs and preferences, as well as taking account of any inequalities and accessibility barriers. It ensures that approaches such as health coaching, peer support, tracking of health and wellbeing and education are systematically put in place to help build knowledge, skills and confidence.
Supported self management and personalised care recognise that “what matters to someone” is not the same as “what’s the matter with someone”.
You can find out more about self-management here.
What is behavioural science?
Behavioural Science is the study of human behaviour. Behavioural science typically combines insights from a wide range of disciplines, including economics, psychology and anthropology, with a particular focus on understanding the factors that affect our decision-making processes.
Very often these insights show that we are all subject to systematic 'biases' in the way that we take decisions, that can prevent us from taking optimal decisions. For example, we have a limited budget of attention that we can allocate to different activities, and if we try and go beyond that limit, we will fail. By understanding these behavioural effects, applied behavioural scientists are able to design systems and processes which go with the grain of how we take decisions in practice.
These insights are built into the Vinehealth app, which 'nudges' its users to make better choices for themselves. They range from timely notifications to remind people living with cancer to take their medication at the right time; to summarising symptoms in ways that facilitate better and more structured conversations between clinicians and Vinehealth users.
As well as drawing on the existing behavioural science research base, Vinehealth will also add to this body of knowledge. The Vinehealth app does this by collecting data on the outcomes associated with different patterns of behaviour, and then using this to continually improve the support that it provides to its users.