Digital tools to empower cancer patients during their treatment in nutritional and physical activity
Previous research has shown that cancer patients actively seek information about how they can improve their treatment. However, the most accessible information is not always the most advisable. As a way to address this issue, Food4Health will develop an app co-designed with patients, family caregivers and health care providers that will facilitate access to information that is truthful, accurate and reliable.
To carry out this task in the MuscleCancer project, we have brought together a team made up of AZTI, Danone Nutricia Research and BeYou that forms an ideal collaboration. AZTI has experience in sensory and consumer science and cancer-related nutrition and will provide scientifically proven content about tips for treatments side-effects and nutritional recommendations. Danone Nutricia Research studies specific nutrients and their potential roles in improving outcomes for cancer patients and will bring its expertise in behaviour, consumer and sensory sciences to the design of the app involving users in the process. And finally, BeYou will apply its experience in design thinking, mobile apps development and the use of innovative gamification algorithms to create custom-fit nutrition and wellness solutions.
The functionalities of the app have been defined in co-creation with cancer patients and health care professionals, through focus groups and questionnaires conducted in Spain by AZTI and Danone Nutricia Research. Some of the pain points presented by the patients are the lack of specific information about precise nutrition and physical activity recommendations during the treatment. Because nutritionist and physical activity specialists are not always included in the health care team, the patients may not receive this information. With that in mind, BeYou is prototyping an app that connects patients with certified health care professionals. The app will provide customized meal plans and physical activity workouts, tailored for each patient based on their needs. Whenever the patient fulfils their nutrition and activity goals, exclusive rewards are unlocked that will be strategically selected to keep them engaged and motivated to reach their next objectives. By doing so, we hope to improve the adherence of cancer patients to nutrition and physical activity recommendations, reducing the impact of malnutrition and promote a better overall quality of life.