Creating healthier futures for ill children

How does Triumf health app fit into the patient journey

Are you a parent to a child with chronic illness, doctor interested in offering comprehensive care to your young patients or innovator curious about digital health in pediatric care, and want to find out exactly how Triumf health app fits into the patient journey? This blog post is for you.

Triumf health app has been designed to support children who battle with chronic illness. More specifically, we focus on the mental health of kids - 60% of chronically ill children end up developing psychological problems in addition to their underlying condition, and these issues might not receive attention before they have already started to interfere with treatment. Moreover, mental health problems themselves can have long-lasting impact on children’s well-being and carry on to adulthood. So, to address the mental burden of chronic illness, we have created a mobile game where we offer psychological and behavioural support to help young patients cope with their condition better and put them in the centre of care.

Our mobile game works as digitally prescribed medicine. What does it mean? And how does it fit into the patient journey? We will discuss below.

1. Receiving the diagnosis - Receiving a diagnosis for chronic illness, such as cancer or diabetes, can be unexpected and stressful, both for the child and their family. The journey of uncertainty is about to begin and families often need to rethink their daily routines to take care of their kid.

2. The beginning of treatment - After the diagnosis, the course of treatment is set out. This can be lifelong (e.g. Type 1 Diabetes) or temporary and take place in the hospital or at home, dependent on the illness. At this point, the implications of the diagnosis start to become apparent for the child and may create confusion, worry and fear. They can sense tension and that something is wrong but may not be able to understand everything that’s happening around them - they might have questions about their illness, how it affects their daily life and may find it difficult to cope with new feelings and emotions.

3. Prescription of Triumf game - Once patients have received a treatment plan, the doctor can also suggest Triumf health app alongside traditional treatment to support the child’s pyscho-social needs. Currently, our app is suitable for children with cancer, diabetes, asthma, weight problems and or who are undergoing surgery.

Our mobile game can become a valuable friend for the child during treatment. The psychologists and researchers in our team have worked with patient organisations since the start of the development process to make the game as child-friendly as possible. In the beginning, when children start playing the game, we profile each patient with a set of validated psychological questionnaires to understand the baseline state of the child. Based on that and the information we collect from the game-play, we offer appropriate and personalised psychological support.

We use an engaging narrative and game-play through which patients can learn more about their illness, treatment, family and friend relationships, healthy behaviours, emotions and feelings, and more. In addition, kids are given a set of situations involving emotion regulation, self-acceptance, self-efficacy, social situations to learn problem-solving skills in an interactive and safe way, which can help them cope better with stressful situations. We also emphasise the importance of treatment adherence and trustworthy partnership with the doctor to assist children with following the treatment as prescribed. From the start, the aim of our health app has also been to help children lead a healthy lifestyle. But creating healthy habits can be difficult, especially if the kids are going through a chronic illness treatment that is burdening on its own. Having this in mind, we've created meaningful prompts that include health messages related to healthy eating, hygiene and hydration.

All the information children learn from the educational component can be implemented in interactive mini-games. Kids can find activities for their memory, relaxation, mindfulness, nutrition, physical activity, and more.

4. Monitoring of patient well-being - For the most optimal effect, we recommend playing the game around 10 minutes per day. Every day the game is opened, we ask them questions about their mood and sleep to track and monitor kids well-being and correlate it with their treatment. In addition, we also gather information through psychological questionnaires that are hidden into the game play. All of the data can be made available for the care team who can use it to get a better understanding of the patient and offer additional care, when needed.

5. Take Triumf game home with you - Children can play the game from their own devices for as long as they wish. We run regular updates for the app, which means children can access new content and mini-games, which in turn help keep the engagement high.

Whilst our focus is on the patient, we understand that childhood diagnosis can place a significant burden on the parents as well. As such, we’re developing an app for parents that provides appropriate knowledge, guidance and support, to create a stronger support system for the entire family.

If you have any questions or wish to receive an overview of Triumf game, please get in touch through our website.

Author

Kaari Kink

Author

Kaari Kink

With her background in health sciences and physical activity, she brings expertise in inducing behavioral change.