Royal Berkshire expands the interactive avatar-directed program after the pilot


The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has expanded the launch of an avatar-led interactive program for people with chronic kidney disease after a successful pilot.

The information program was originally designed to help assess how patients understood and wanted to consume health information related to their diagnosis of chronic kidney disease. For the one-year pilot, the trusted clinical team worked with Cognitant to create an easy-to-understand and accessible program.

The information was available in two formats: information written with diagrams and an immersive and interactive animated digital format. The digital version was accessed from the Healthinote platform, a solution for providing prescribed health information from reliable sources.

Both formats were tested by trust patients. It was found that patients absorbed information more easily in digital format and this method was easy to use. Patients reported that they understood their condition better (96% of digital users compared to 88% of those testing the written information); has found content to be easy to understand (100% digital versus 88% written); and that the information was easy to find (100% digital vs. 87% written).

The clinical team was led by Dr. Emma Vaux, a nephrologist consultant and doctor at the trust.

She said: “This pilot was incredibly insightful to us as we had the opportunity to really explore how people consume health information and whether they would accept the digital delivery of that information.”

She continued: “Our vision, through the program, is to improve the patient experience, enable them to be well informed, both in their self-care and in the prevention of complications, as well as to slow the progression of CKD. “We are very pleased with the feedback so far. We are delighted to continue to demonstrate the benefits of the program to the entire community and the entire health and care system.”

The program secured £ 30.00 funding from the Q Exchange, which is funded by the Health Foundation, NHS England and NHS Improvement. After the trial of the year successfully ended in July 2021, the program is still in use and work is now underway to translate the content into Nepali, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish and apply a cultural adaptation. Additional topics are also added, with information on acute kidney injury to be published in the coming months.

Dr. Tim Ringrose, CEO and co-founder of the Cognitant group, added: “Our mission is to help people of all ages and abilities understand more about their health and have the power to manage it effectively. This project already demonstrates the impact it can have on people and how this technology allows the NHS to provide more support to patients with long-term conditions.

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