Creating healthier futures for ill children

Blog & News

In mid-August, Triumf team came together again to celebrate summer days and spend some time at Kadri’s lovely country house. As per usual, Kadri had prepared an agenda full of awesome activities, good food and quality time. But as it quickly turned out, Triumf team had not lost its competitiveness, which became apparent when facing each other in various games. The mindset during the “friendly” mini-competitions can be described in the legendary words of Lea: “No cheering for each other. We’re all enemies here”. And with that, Triumf Summer days had started!

In our previous blog posts, we have covered the journey of uncertainty in childhood cancer both from the persepctive of children as well as from the perspective of parents. As Triumf is getting ready for the start of the next clinical trial, in this post we will share some of the challenges that accompany the diagnosis of pediatric diabetes.

The other day, after finishing some work-related things, I went for a run. And just like usually during my runs, I used the time for reflection (although in the end of the run I was just thinking about surviving). But as I was analysing my day and thinking about the work I had just finished, I realised it was coming close to my one-year anniversary in Triumf - so the rest of the time I reflected on my progress in the team so far. Here it is:

Things are moving fast this year and we try to keep up - not only by providing more and better support for ill children through our Triumf health game but also by delivering more content. And now we are very proud to announce that the Coloring Book is part of our Triumf health game! Keep reading to learn more about the importance of mindfulness-based techniques in disease management and have a look at our wonderful Coloring Book!

The status updates and news that we have shared during the last 12 months of our journey have mainly been focused on the Triumf game for pediatric patients itself. And it's for a reason! Metaphoricall...

In our previous blog posts, we have emphasised the importance of validating and evaluating digital health technologies (DHT) to ensure their safety and effectiveness. But what do we mean by “evidence-based” and what standards as well as regulations exist in the health care industry that help demonstrate the value but also increase the adoption of DHT? And what do we in Triumf do to ensure our health app for children is the highest quality possible?

Being a startup founder means I sometimes need to travel a lot and this blog post highlights some of the exciting events I have participated in over the past two months. Have a look!

We have recently added more paths to our Triumf health game, which is now available for following pediatric conditions: cancer, diabetes, asthma, overweight and surgery. After many months of hard work in improving the app to include more diseases, give better support and a more engaging experience, we finally also updated our visuals of the UI with a cute and toonish style that is better suited for our young audience. This blog post gives a visual overview of this major update.

This year has gone incredibly fast and the first half of the year is already over. So, this is a good point to reflect on what has happened so far for Triumf, the progress we have made but also to project forward and see what the next six months will bring us.

Testing with Estonian Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes

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Our health app is available for several conditions, including cancer, diabetes, asthma, weight problems and children undergoing surgery. Last year, we had a valuable chance to involve childhood cancer patients in the design of Triumf game. We were able to demonstrate promising results amongst these patients. This time, our goal was to understand how our solution was perceived by diabetic patients, too. As such, in May we met with four charming testers from Estonian Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ELDÜ). The youngest partner was 9 years old, the oldest 12 years and their time from diagnosis varied from 3 to 10 years. The aim of the meeting was to have a joint testing session (although some also had a chance to test at home) to explore around in the game and give feedback on the experience.

Diabetic patients spend up to 40% of the day with excessively high blood sugar levels, which can damage blood vessels and lead to long-term health consequences (Van Dijk et al., 2013). Medication to maintain diabetes is effective to a certain degree, however, studies show that patients still spend up to seven hours per day with abnormally high glucose levels even when drugs are administered (Van Dijk et al., 2013). Clearly, further interventions are needed to minimise the negative effects of diabetes.

Chronic disease treatment requires quite some discipline and it is not always easy for kids to follow the regimen rigorously. Poor chronic disease management leads to various health risks and it is known that one of the important factors related to poor medication adherence is associated with mental health problems. It needs to be noted that treatment adherence is one of the most critical issues in pediatric care setting. But technology helps us in forming a source of knowledge while improving patient's mood and experience. For that reason, digitally delivered therapeutics (app therapy) have gained a lot of interest lately.

In order to help chronically ill children, we need to focus on many aspects. First and most importantly - their mental health - how they are coping, what are their strengths and difficulties. How we can support their strengths and help with their difficulties. But if they already have the disease then we need to monitor how their treatment is followed, we need to give information on their condition, their health and wellbeing, we need to support their general health behaviors so they could live healthier lives and at the same time empower and give a sense of success. These components that are necessary to induce behavioral change work only when these are delivered in a way that kids love. And don’t they enjoy playing games? In our mobile health game kids need to save the Triumfland city from the Disease Monster but how did we come up with that? How did we know about the needs of the users?

In the beginning of April, I flew to Dublin to take part in the Deep Dive Week organised by the Startup Lighthouse team. Deep Dive Weeks happen all across Europe and their aim is to help European MedTech start-ups scale-up up abroad. In other words, help start-ups expand.

Triumf health app is now available for school-aged kids with various conditions with the aim to give them psychological as well as treatment related support and foster healthy lifestyle. Have a look at the pediatric disease paths that the game features.