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The University of Southampton
Psychology

LifeGuide: How online innovation in healthcare is already making a difference

Published: 9 January 2014

Five years of pioneering research into how Internet technology can help in healthcare was showcased at a seminar at the University of Southampton this week.

The LifeGuide project, led by Professor Lucy Yardley, Head of the Centre for Applications of Health Psychology, enables researchers and practitioners with no prior knowledge of computer science to use innovative software to support their healthcare and wellbeing initiatives. The unique system can provide tailored information to patients, send them email and text messages, evaluate results and much more. It has attracted £15million of external funding from the  over the past five years and early findings have been published in The Lancet.

"Many successful projects are underway," explains Lucy. "We have already worked with GPs in six countries, supporting them to create online resources for their patients, other applications are helping people lose weight, stop smoking and cope with conditions including stroke, cancer, diabetes and pandemic flu."

LifeGuide, which is an interdisciplinary collaboration between medical practitioners, social scientists and computer scientists, has just been awarded an additional grant of £2million from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to develop an online system for people with hypertension to monitor their blood pressure and manage their condition; a similar intervention will cover asthma.

The seminar consisted of 15 brief talks highlighting the latest initiatives in areas such as eczema, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, stress, dizziness, fatigue in cancer survivors and low back pain. Lucy spoke about the origins of LifeGuide and plans for the next five years and technological developments were covered by Southampton web scientist Dr Mark Weal.

For more information visit:

www.lifeguideonline.org

The LifeGuide business partnership pages

 

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