The Five Year Forward View established a vision for the NHS to become better at helping people to manage their own health. Couple this with the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s drive for digitisation of the NHS, and the need for effective self-care technologies becomes even more prevalent.
But in this increasingly crowded marketplace, finding the most effective solutions for patients and citizens can be challenging. A common theme has been a lack of evidence to demonstrate the true impact of health apps, making it difficult for commissioners to make informed decisions on investing in this technology.
One organisation, based in Norway, is already demonstrating the value of a range of apps that are delivering a new and more effective way to change habits and lifestyles. Changetech launched their first ‘Easychange’ smoking cessation app in 2003, and since then have worked collaboratively with healthcare professionals, government agencies, charities, insurers and pharma companies to grow their portfolio to 23 support programmes.
Easychange programmes are now running in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland with tens of thousands of users benefiting from the technology to help them to quit smoking, drink less, reduce stress, eat healthier, become more active, increase their mood and wellbeing, or live better with a chronic disease.
The innovation that underpins all Easychange applications is a totally new approach to habit change called personal change programming, or PCP. Each app is built around the how the human brain functions, and the psychology required to break bad habits and improve health and lifestyles. Studies suggest that the brain sees all significant change as a potential danger and launches a series of psychological processes to restore the status quo. The Easychange PCP approach integrates modern psychology techniques that can effectively overcome the brain’s natural resistance to change making it much easier for users to succeed.
Keen to demonstrate the value of their programmes, Changetech is passionate about ensuring Easychange is evidence based. Every component that goes into each programme has proven to be effective in clinical trials. The value of the programmes has already been documented in six randomised clinical trials and accepted in the Cochrane Library, with details on the impact of specific programme elements also documented in over 20 user studies. From keeping 21% of users smoke free after 12 months to reducing stress levels by 30-40%, the results are clear, independently verified and impressive.
With an estimated 70% of all health budgets spent on diseases caused by unhealthy habits, digital self-care solutions are set to play a pivotal role in tackling the world’s largest health challenges. Investing in research to understand the true benefits of these applications, will undoubtedly help healthcare professionals to adopt new technology, deliver efficiencies and improve lives.
Arden & GEM is working in partnership with Changetech to bring Easychange programmes to the UK. If you would like to find out more please contact Gabrielle Marsden at firstname.lastname@example.org
Easychange is based on extensive research about why people find it so difficult to change their personal habits and behaviour. Our digital self-care programmes are rooted in 30 years of research in behavioural psychology, social psychology, health psychology and related disciplines to allow the user to build the knowledge and techniques required to achieve their goals.
Harald Schjelderup-Lund, CEO at Changetech