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Building Tools for Behavioural Health and Wellbeing

 
 

We are a technology company with a social purpose.

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Our mission is to promote behavioural health and wellbeing by creating validated tools that are engaging, intuitively appealing and effective.  Our vision is to help people achieve their potential and lead well balanced lives by helping people articulate their personal wellbeing goals, and manage their personal challenges, and maintain and optimise their goals over time.  

We leverage technology and draw on deeply embedded human behaviours to humanise digital solutions.  We are committed to a person-centred design methodology and to building on evidence-based research in order to provide affordable tools for wellbeing that are broadly accessible.

 

Our Unique Approach

 

Harnessing the technology inherent in the Internet of Things, we make smart digital artefacts that use our sense of touch to offer discrete, comforting and effective means to detect and express emotion in real time (EMA) and assist behaviour change.  Our proprietary software applications individualise the user experience and guide the user based on behaviour change methodologies (COM-B system of motivation, capability and opportunity) and principles of cognitive behaviour therapy.

“The sense of touch provides a very powerful method of eliciting and modulating human emotion… Human emotions can be easily evoked by different cues and the sense of touch is one of the most emotionally charged channels.”
— Eid, Mohamad, and Hussein Al Osman. Affective Haptics: Current Research and Future Directions, IAEE Access (February 28, 2016) p. 27.
“EMA methods provide an important tool to help clinical psychology explore the dynamic nature of behaviour thought and feeling as they unfold over time.”
— Shiffman, Saul, Arthur A. Stone, and Michael R. Hufford. "Ecological momentary assessment." Annu. Rev. Clin. Psychol. 4 (2008) p. 24

Our first focus is mental health and chronic pain

 
 
 
 
 

Mental health problems impact one in four of the adult population and are hugely costly to society.  Mental ill health is estimated to cost £105 billion per annum in lost productivity and health and social care costs for England alone, with millions struggling with stress and anxiety or depression related disorders.  

Chronic pain impacts 10% of the UK population and 30% of people with a long term health condition also have mental health issues.  The impact of chronic pain is estimated to cost the UK economy £20Bn/annually.  Significantly, 17 million working days were lost due to stress, anxiety and depression in 2016.

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We were very fortunate to have been granted a 2016 Nominet Trust Social Tech Award to progress our first product in development, OliTool®️an Internet of Things mHealth system that harnesses haptic technology to support behavioural health and wellbeing.  

 

Rigorous research is at the foundation of all of our work

 
 

Academic research underlines all product development

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Our products have been informed by research from multiple disciplines including psychology, neuroscience, affective haptics, systems engineering, user experience design, applied arts and behaviour change. We have incorporated theories of cognitive behavioural therapy, ecological momentary assessment and intervention, behavioural intervention technologies and embodied cognition, amongst others, into our products.

 

User Workshops Inform All Aspects of Our Design

With an initial grant from CreativeWorks London, we worked in conjunction with Goldsmiths University and the i2 Media Lab, to conduct user experience workshops, which have informed our product development. Numerous co-design sessions followed, including collaborative workshops with University College London through the Centre for Behaviour Change. Our workshops have included in-depth discussions with both individuals experiencing challenging behavioural issues as well as psychotherapists and counsellors from a range of different theoretical backgrounds.  

OliTool Trial Exeter University Spring 2016

Professor Edward Watkins and Dr. Felicity Southworth conducted a Case Series methodology trial, evaluation and analysis of the OliTool system with Exeter University students and staff at Exeter University.  This was the first measurable demonstration of the OliTool mvp.  The trial results demonstrated that there was a statistically significant benefit for those individuals who wanted to reduce snacking as their target worry habit.  Based on the Exit Interviews, prepared by the Helen Hamlyn Centre RCA, the Pre-post comparison showed an on average decrease in anxiety, worry and the targeted behaviour across all particpants.  The participants reported that OliTool was an easy-to-use tool helpful in spotting patterns of behaviour and enabling changes in that challenging behaviour.  Anecdotal reports from participants included:  “…The small vibrations it makes when you squeeze it generally help to keep me grounded;’ “Its nice to be able to record on the Oli, then write about it later;” “…It stopped me from drifting fully into certain thought patterns.”

 

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