Living Well is a digital healthcare platform that provides validated psychological and behavioral support to cancer patients instantly, reliably, and cost-effectively. It helps patients cope with cancer-related emotional burdens so that they can regain control of their well-being and enhance their quality of life.
Living Well can complement existing therapy or can be used as an alternative when a therapeutic intervention is unavailable.
Living Well is a certified, Class I medical device that is designed for self-care and independent patient use, reducing reliance on support staff.
With its 90-day program designed explicitly for cancer patients, it is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness interventions, and healthy habit-building techniques. Living Well guides patients from the moment of diagnosis towards regaining control over their emotional well-being, reducing cancer-related stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, and improves patients' emotional functioning and quality of life.
We have developed a portfolio of digital health care medical products that covers the entirety of the behavioral treatment needs of cancer patients.
Our clinically validated digital health care platform will soon be prescribed by doctors and therapists in Germany as a DiGA*, and will be reimbursed by the local healthcare system.
We aim to become the #1 digital health care provider for oncology globally, and we have a clear pathway to get there.
Living Well is suitable for adult cancer patients who have recently been diagnosed, are undergoing treatment or are in recovery for all cancer types.
It addresses diverse languages, genders, cultural backgrounds, visual impairments, literacy and motor skills, and coping skills for symptoms of anxiety and depression.
It is a private, self-care option for patients who are hesitant to share mental health struggles with a professional or a group.
App users must have an iOS or Android smartphone. It’s worth noting that the app needs a stable internet connection to work, via wifi or a mobile network.
The mobile app can be used on any smartphone with the iOS or Android operating systems, and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. In order to use the app, each patient will receive a unique code that will allow them to log in.
The digital therapeutics program consists of 22 lessons, each lasting several minutes. Lessons can be practiced every day or several times a week, depending on the patient’s time, willingness and well-being. In addition, the patient will also receive access to an online feedback form where they will be able to share comments on the content and use of the app.
Patients diagnosed with cancer face enormous changes in their lives (Infurna et al. 2013). Adaptation to these changes is a process that requires time, often taking several weeks.
Cancer-related distress is defined as a multifaceted, unpleasant experience that is psychological (cognitive, behavioural, emotional), social and/or spiritual in nature that interferes with a person's ability to cope with the physical symptoms of cancer as well as its treatment (NCCN, 2020). It is a subjective experience, and while some cancer patients find that they can manage the stress of the disease and its treatment (Lauriola & Tomai 2019), many patients experience complications in adjustment, including anxiety and depressive disorders. Estimates of prevalence rates of these disorders among cancer patients range from 17 percent to 49 percent for anxiety disorders, and from 4 percent to 60 percent for depression (Caruso et al., 2017; Cordova, Riba, and Spiegel, 2017; Hess and Chen, 2014).
Among cancer patients, the risk of psychiatric distress is nearly twice that of the general population (Hinz et al., 2010). The probability of being depressed is 5.4 times higher among cancer patients than in that of the general population (Hartung et al., 2017). Hence, there is a need to find effective ways to support patients in adapting to the reality of an oncological diagnosis.
Cancer-related distress may also contribute to a reduction in health-related quality of life, understood as a multidimensional construct that includes physical, emotional, social and spiritual areas of human functioning (Aaronson et al., 1993). Interestingly, it has been demonstrated that patients' emotional and behavioural responses are more closely related to their perception of the illness than to their objective medical state and nosological diagnosis (Bockholt et al. 2021; Brand et al. 2021; Saritas & Özdemir, 2018; Hopman & Rijke, 2015). Illness perception is a set of subjective beliefs about the identity, causes, timeline, control of cure, and the consequences of the disease on the daily psychophysical functioning of a particular patient (Leventhal, Nerenz et al., 1984; Leventhal, Phillips et al., 2016). It is therefore considered a strong predictor of health-related quality of life and, above all, a patient’s mental state (Miceli et al., 2019).
Psycho-oncological support is an integral part of cancer treatment and has become an integral part of standard cancer care in many countries. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses, including randomized controlled trials (RCTs), show that psychotherapeutic interventions significantly reduce cancer patients psychosocial problems and improve their quality of life, as well as emotional and social functioning both during and after completion of oncological treatment (Faller et al., 2013; Tamagawa, Garland, Vaska and Carlson, 2012; Galway et al., 2012; Linden and Girgis, 2012; Heron-Speirs, Harvey and Baken, 2013; Parahoo et al., 2015; Matsuda, Yamaoka, Tango, Matsuda, and Nishimoto, 2014; Jassim, Whitford, Hickey, and Carter, 2015; Sun et al., 2019).
One of the most frequently used psychotherapeutic trends in psycho-oncology is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), an approach that is based on the premise that you can change your mood and behavior by changing maladaptive ways of thinking. Interventions using techniques derived from CBT often improve mental state, the cognitive picture of the disease, and quality of life in cancer patients (e.g., Galway et al., 2012; Parahoo et al., 2013; Fors et al., 2011). CBT also fits into the model of progressive care (Haaga, 2000; Davison, 2000), in which the intervention begins with low-intensity interactions, assuming that such a procedure may already produce the desired results. A broader intervention is then only proposed for patients who do not respond to a low-intensity intervention or who have more severe symptoms (Bower & Gilbody, 2005; Arving, Assmus, Thormodsen, Berntsen & Nordin, 2019). This model corresponds very well to the needs of oncological patients, for whom psychoeducation alone can often bring positive results.
Digital platforms can be of great help in the area of low-intensity impact interventions. In this area, interventions are mainly based on psychoeducation and training in coping with stress and emotions (Haaga, 2000; Davison, 2000). In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the use of digital platforms providing therapeutic interventions aims to alleviate symptoms such as anxiety (Economides et al., 2019; Greer et al., 2019; Moberg, Niles and Beermann, 2019; Wright, Mishkind, Eells and Chan, 2019), depression (Economides et al., 2019; Moberg , Niles and Beermann, 2019; Wright, Mishkind, Eells and Chan, 2019), insomnia (Kang et al., 2017; Werner-Seidler et al., 2019), pain (Zheng et al., 2020), stress (Moberg , Niles and Beermann, 2019), and fatigue (Spahrkäs, Looijmans, Sanderman and Hagedoorn, 2020).
Living Well is currently undergoing validation in randomized control trials (RCTs) conducted in the US and Poland. Additionally, two intensive pilot studies were conducted in Poland and Germany on female cancer patients experiencing high levels of symptoms of depression and/or anxiety (April and June 2023, respectively; results already available).
The primary objective of our studies is to evaluate the effectiveness of our digital healthcare solutions (Living Well as an example) in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and distress among cancer patients.
Please fill out the contact form below to request our studies' detailed results.
Cancer not only affects the body, but also the mind, so for patients to receive truly adequate care, it is necessary to add a psychological dimension to the care they are receiving.
I strongly believe that Living Well is innovative and supportive, and that it provides excellent opportunities for patients to manage their feelings and emotions and, thus, improve the course of their overall treatment.
Living Well promotes scientifically validated behavioural change interventions that help cancer patients follow their treatment, enjoy a healthier lifestyle and improve their quality of life.
Despite major advances in overall cancer treatment, many patients continue to experience significant distress. We need to offer them help before their psychological concerns reach the crisis stage, as this may negatively affect their overall recovery and response to treatment.
Germany differentiates lifestyle applications from medical applications by calling them DiGA, which is an abbreviation for Digitale Gesundheitsanwendungen,