An NHS trust is trialling the feasability of a new app designed to help cancer patients cope with the physical and psychological impact of the disease.
NatiaCares is claimed to be the first app to incorporate a programme of yoga, meditation, music, and conversation, with the aim to help individuals affected by cancer emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
NatiaCares is supported by the UK cancer charity, Maggie’s Centres, who assisted with the development of the app, alongside cancer patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals who tested it.
NatiaCares is also collaborating with the Medway NHS Foundation Trust and is currently undertaking a joint feasibility study, with the view to launching a full NHS-run pilot.
The app is the brainchild of John Muolo, a former cancer patient, who used his first-hand experience with cancer to create the app to provide a resource that is available to anyone affected by cancer, every step of the way.
The app’s yoga programme was developed by yoga expert Kate Binnie, and includes pose sequences and breath exercises.
Its meditation programme was developed by Lesley Howells, a consultant clinical psychologist with over 30 years’ experience, and Bodhipaksa, an accomplished meditation teacher and author.
“Often, and understandably, clinicians’ main focus has to be on treating and stopping cancer,” said Muolo.
“With cancer, however, we have to also consider our emotional and psychological well-being.
“Having practiced yoga and meditation for over 15 years, I have seen how these practices foster a sense of calmness and peacefulness, a pause in our busy minds.
“It is during this pause that we can begin to change our relationship with cancer and begin addressing its psychological burden. After further researching the therapeutic benefits that yoga, meditation and music can have, the idea for NatiaCares was born – to offer the millions of people affected by cancer much needed support, and thereby, to become the kindest, most empathetic and compassionate cancer-related app available.”
Laura Lee, CEO of Maggie’s Centres added: “NatiaCares is the first digital therapeutic app we have seen that is 100% aligned with Maggie’s aim of helping anyone affected by cancer. NatiaCares provides a kind, compassionate, yet effective tool that can be accessed 24/7 to provide this support.”