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Our Child Health Literacy specialist, Professor Lucy Bray, has been working with the creators of Xploro® – a digital platform that aims to revolutionise the paediatric healthcare experience. Lucy has provided evidence that has informed Xploro’s interactive and engaging educational content, which is delivered through gamification and personalised experiences.

When children lack proper information about healthcare procedures and have poor health literacy (i.e. do not understand health-related information or terminology), they feel more anxious and stressed. They are also less likely to be involved in decisions and choices about their care. This can create difficulties when they need to undergo complex medical procedures like radiological scans and blood tests. Children who are anxious, distressed and excluded from health care interactions have poorer outcomes. It can also result in procedures having to be repeated, longer appointment times, greater need for pre-procedural sedation, reduced adherence to medicine regimes and an increase in missed appointments – all of which considerably increase the cost burden on health services.

Drawing upon her expertise in this area, Lucy has worked with Xploro® on several research projects to aid product development and evaluation. Through studies, she identified the information needs of children coming to hospital for planned procedures. This enabled Xploro® to develop interactive and engaging educational content that meets children’s needs and improves their health literacy. Through an evaluation funded by Innovate UK, Lucy has also evidenced the impact of Xploro®, demonstrating that it improves children and parent’s knowledge and satisfaction of a planned procedure, and that it also reduces children and parent’s procedural anxiety. More recently, with European Regional Development Funding, Lucy worked with clinicians and families to examine the acceptability of Xploro’s new blood test module, developed for a local hospital. The study proved that the module helped children feel less worried.

We have worked with Lucy since the very early days of the project. Her study at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital provided pivotal evidence for us around the effectiveness of Xploro in achieving a reduction in anxiety for children visiting hospital. That evidence not only enabled us to reassure prospective customers but also gave confidence to our venture capital funders. More recently her Blood Tests study at Ormskirk District General Hospital has helped us explore new markets in district and community hospitals.  Her research focus is such a perfect fit with our mission, and we now think of Lucy as an extended member of our team.

Dom Raban, Co-Founder and CEO, Xploro