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Health app reducing stress and anxiety in children showcased at Arab Health

January 13, 2022

A health modification tool co-designed alongside families and healthcare professionals to help reduce children’s anxiety before a healthcare procedure is being showcased on the UK Pavilion at Arab Health 2022 (24 – 27 January 2022).

Little Journey is an award winning eSupport platform designed to psychological prepare and support children and their families undergoing healthcare procedures from the comfort of their own home. The platform is suitable for use as part of routine care as well as supporting those participating in clinical trials.

The unique tool is designed to help patients through their medical Journey to help create a better experience. For organisations, Little Journey generates revenue through customer attraction and satisfaction with care, while also increasing organisation efficiency. For families, the platform improves children’s mental and physical wellbeing, enhances their experiences of care, and promotes positive health behaviour development.

The Little Journey platform consists of a smartphone app delivering multi-faceted preparation and support for children and their parents, and a web-based hospital portal enabling healthcare and research organisations to configure the app to their own local patient pathways and trial protocols.

From familiarisation through interactive games, desensitisation using virtual reality tours to coping skills education via child narrated animations, the platform has been developed to engage and empower families in their care.

Dr Chris Evans said: ”We are delighted to be joining the UK Pavilion at Arab Health 2022 to showcase our revolutionary platform which has been designed to transform healthcare outcomes through enhanced patient engagement and experience. Our aim is to support and empower patients and their families through engaging and interactive content to reduce the stress and anxiety of coming to hospital. We look forward to meeting new partners and sharing how our unique platform can be employed for the benefit of patients globally.”

 Pre-operative anxiety is common, affecting 50-75% of children, and is the leading complaint in adults before surgery. This anxiety is associated with worse physical and mental outcomes, as well as adverse financial implications for healthcare organisations. Fifty percent of children develop negative post-hospital behavioural changes such as bed wetting, separation anxiety and nightmares at two-weeks after an operation, which are ongoing in 8% at one year.[1]

Research has shown that psychological preparation reduces anxiety but is time consuming and costly to perform. Currently patients are supported through single face-to-face pre procedure interactions and/or paper information leaflets.[2]

 The Little Journey platform was founded by Dr Chris Evans, an NHS doctor and researcher, to create a more appropriate and engaging way to convey this information. In 2021, Little Journey won the Patient Experience Network Innovation award and was appointed onto the NHS Innovation Accelerator to support its adoption across the NHS. The platform is configured to 50+ NHS hospitals with benefits such as 30% anxiety reduction, 42% lower on-the-day cancellation and 30% faster recovery.

During the pandemic, Little Journey has worked with NHS staff, children and parents to create educational animations and materials to teach children about the COVID-19 swab test, how to prepare themselves and what to expect. The project and outputs were funded by NHS England and supported by Test and Trace and Public Health England.

Arab Health 2022 is taking place from 24 – 27 January 2022 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Throughout the show, Little Journey will be located on the UK Pavilion – Hall 2 H50B.

News & Analysis

by Gwyn Tudor