Living Well is an application providing mental health support for women recently diagnosed with cancer or undergoing treatment.Try it now
Living Well is a CE certified class I medical device. It is a comprehensive programme to support patients mental health post-cancer diagnosis and during treatment.
The tool helps them deal with challenging emotions and immense stress through a friendly and easily accessible application.The aim is to reduce their stress level, regain control over their own well-being and build healthy habits.
We develop a portfolio of digital therapeutic medical software products that cover the entirety of behavioural treatment needs of cancer patients.
Our clinically validated digital therapeutics platform will be prescribed by doctors and therapists in Germany as a DIGA*, and it will be reimbursed by the local healthcare system in Q2 2022.
We aim to become #1 global digital therapeutics solution for oncology and we have a pathway to get there.
Living Well is designed for female patients in the first weeks post cancer diagnosis. Patients of all ages and types of diagnosis are welcome to take part.
Application users must have an iOS or Android smartphone. It’s worth noting that the app needs a stable internet connection to work, via wi-fi or a mobile network.
The mobile application can be used on any smartphone with the iOS or Android operating systems. The application can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. To be able to use the application, each patient will need to 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 practised every day or several times a week - depending on the patient’s time, willingness and wellbeing. 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.
The app can be used to complement therapy or as an alternative when a therapeutic intervention is not available.
The data is stored and processed in accordance with the highest standards of medical devices in addition to the EU GDPR rules. The application does not collect clinical data or personal information. The data will be used only to analyse how the application is used and to in turn increase its effectiveness.
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 multifactorial unpleasant experience of a psychological (cognitive, behavioural, emotional), social and/or spiritual nature that interferes with the ability to cope with cancer, its physical symptoms and its treatment (NCCN, 2020). It is a subjective experience, and while some cancer patients find that they can cope well with the stress of diagnosis, disease, and its treatment (Lauriola & Tomai 2019), many patients experience complications and consequences in adjustment, as well as anxiety and depressive disorders. Estimates of prevalence rates of these disorders among cancer patients range from 17 % to 49 % for anxiety disorders, and from 4 % to 60 % 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 the general population (Hartung et al., 2017). Hence there is a need to find effective ways to support patients adapting to the situation 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).It has been shown that patients' emotional and behavioural responses are more closely related to illness perception 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 also 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), based on the assumption that you can change your mood and behaviour 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 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 impacts interventions. In this area, interventions are mainly based on psychoeducation and training in coping with stress and emotions (Haaga, 2000; Davison, 2000). In cognitive-behavioural 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).
Our application is currently being reviewed in ongoing clinical trials in the US, Germany and Poland. The results of these trials will be available later in 2022.
Cancer doesn’t only affect 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, supportive and that it provides excellent opportunities for patients to manage their own 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 patients help before their psychological concerns reach the crisis stage, as this may negatively affect their overall recovery and response to treatment.