Do Blog

Do Change – integrating behaviour change with wearables and medical devices

Do Change, our EU Horizon 2020/Taiwan Government funded project, has now begun the second phase clinical trials that include behaviour change prompts dictated by data from various patient devices.

September 19th 2017

The aim of the project is to see if behaviour change prompts designed by Do Something Different can help to improve outcomes for people already suffering with cardiac disease, heart failure or hypertension.

Patients live at home, and are outpatients of three hospitals: one in Spain; one in the Netherlands; the third in Taiwan.

Enhancing quality of life… reducing the medical burden

Do Something Different’s founder, Professor Ben (C) Fletcher, explains:

“These patients already have heart disease and most have had a heart attack. They have been told by the doctors that they need to make changes in their lifestyle behaviour to improve their health and life expectancy. The sad truth is, that even with this warning, most patients find it almost impossible to change the habits of a lifetime and so their conditions get worse and they increase the chance of another heart attack.”



“This project aims to test whether behavioural prompts linked to patient data that reflects activity, social opportunities and variety can improve outcomes, enhancing quality of life for the patient and reducing the burden on medical facilities.”

Introducing ‘Responsive’ Do’s

Head of Technical Research at Do Something Different, Paul Bunkham, says that the project has now reached an exciting phase, where behaviour change elements are based on real-time data from the patients wearables and medical devices:

“The technical innovation for this phase has been to create what we call ‘Responsive Do’s’ – behavioural prompts chosen on the basis of an individual’s reported data.

“We are taking pulse and blood pressure inputs from Docobo’s “doc at home” device. We are monitoring how active each person is through a FitBit; We take sleep data from Beddit and information about their sociability from their Moves App, which tracks location and social activity.

“We have then created a new algorithm that looks at all of these inputs and considers the regular programme prompts they have received. It then chooses a Responsive Do that will remind them and encourage them to make lifestyle changes.

“Each of our Responsive Do’s targets one of the three core behaviours doctors and psychologists believe can help cardiac patients with their rehabilitation: activity; sociability and variety.

“These Responsive Do’s are delivered in their own language (Spanish, Dutch or Taiwanese) via their “doc at home” system and via the Vire App on their phone. Patients can then respond, telling us what they have done, via either of these devices.”

Constantly monitoring patients and analysing satisfaction

The trial uses Docobo’s “Doc@Home” to provide a constant monitoring of vital data between the patient and the hospital. Approved medical staff can view the vital data and the activity recorded as a result of their Do Something Different prompts.

Roz Sutton, COO at Do Something Different, says that anecdotal evidence gathered so far suggests that there are three key advantages:

“Firstly, the patients tell us that they like the connectivity. They know that they are being monitored which makes them feel a higher level of care, even though they are not actually seeing anyone.

“Secondly, that gives them a sense of accountability. Rather than being told to change their lifestyle and then not doing anything about it as before, now they feel like someone is watching so they need to do it. That’s a virtuous circle right there.

“Thirdly the medical staff are pleased to have the monitoring capability without having to commit to formal appointments. It gives them the opportunity to alter their clinical interventions in relation to real data built around each patient.”

As a clinical trial, the outcomes from this cohort will be compared with outpatients from the same hospitals who do not have these inputs from Do Change. Initial results are expected in early 2018.