Cancer-related fatigue app gets NHS approval

Cancer-related fatigue app gets NHS approval

Cancer-related fatigue app gets NHS approval 1160 600 Untire

Untire becomes the first app of its kind to be listed on the nhs digital library

UNTIRE has become the first Cancer-Related Fatigue (CRF) app to be approved by the NHS, and is now available to download for free via the NHS Apps Library.

The Untire app, which aims to tackle CRF – one of the most common side effects of cancer and its treatment – has successfully passed NHS assessment, which is in place to make sure that only safe and secure apps and digital tools are published on the NHS Apps Library.

Although fatigue is the most common side effect of cancer – 70 to 80 per cent of cancer patients are affected[1] – there is a lack of awareness amongst patients and providers. However, with figures estimating there will be 2,900,000 people living with cancer in the UK by 2020[2], there is a growing need for effective support solutions.

According to Door Vonk, founding partner of Untire: “Untire aims to help users gain better control of their energy levels by getting and keeping them mentally and psychologically active. The programme offers a combination of insightful themes, such as sleep, anxiety, setting limits and nutrition, guidelines for managing energy, physical exercises to build strength, activities to reduce stress, and tips to improve mood.”

CRF is characterized by feelings of tiredness, weakness and a lack of energy related to cancer or cancer therapy. This, in turn, often impacts on a patient’s quality of life, with debilitating social and economic consequences.

Debbie Smith, Macmillan Cancer information and support centre manager at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Wythenshawe Hospital, says: “We often guide people to the NHS Apps Library as many people like the choices and accessibility. Untire is a definite positive addition to the collection – it gives people encouragement to take control when they have possibly felt so out of control and vulnerable due to CRF.”

Initial findings from a randomized-control-trial (RCT) study with the University of Groningen (Netherlands) demonstrate that the Untire app significantly reduces fatigue while increasing happiness amongst users. Final results will be made available in late 2019.

Dr Bram Kuiper, who has been a clinical psychologist in oncology for over thirty years, added: “We’re proud that Untire is trusted by the NHS, which is so important for cancer patients and healthcare providers.”

“The app is designed to help all cancer patients and survivors regardless of age, cancer stage or cancer type, and we hope that its availability via the NHS Apps Library gives patients and care providers an additional tool for effectively managing cancer-related fatigue.”

[1] Cancer Research UK (2019), Research into cancer fatigue
[2] Macmillan Cancer Support (2019), Statistics Fact Sheet