In many of the randomised controlled trials we have worked on, the intervention stream was itself an online application, and we have extensive experience in developing and integrating with online eHealth Integrations. We can offer various levels of involvement:
- Consultancy on intervention design, taking treatment techniques and translating them into online interfaces
- Developing and hosting new intervention applications
- Integration and handover of baselines to existing online intervention sites
- Integrating new functionality into existing online content to create an online intervention
Online interventions can come in a wide variety of forms. Below we highlight some of the types of intervention we can offer.
Interactive content sites
One of the most effective types of online intervention involves presenting therapeutic written content. Textual, visual and audio content can be presented to the participant in a structured way, with carefully designed navigation and content architecture. In addition participant engagement with the content can be enhanced in a variety of ways:
Interspersing the content with interactive exercises and opportunities for the participant to express their thoughts. These responses can be revisited by the participant in an ongoing record of their interaction with the site.
Organising the content into phases, and unlocking content based on the participants progress throughout the site. Adding a time and feedback dimension to the participants interaction gives them a sense of reward and can lead to deeper engagement.
Personalising the content to the participant using collected trial data or contextual data. For example showing content relevant to the users location or age, or including personalised messages from the participants recruiter (e.g. the patients general practice).
Allowing the participant to comment on or rate content. This increases engagement and can also provide valuable feedback data for future versions of the trial.
Complex interactive applications
For greater participant engagement we can offer full intervention applications. Examples may include:
An interactive diary, where a participant can record health episodes and associate them with context data, such as location and activity. Search and comparison tools can allow the participant to find patterns in their behaviour, and future high risk events can be planned for
Interactive games. Role playing activities are a powerful tool in therapeutic contexts, and this can be translated into an online context using an interactive game. For example we have developed a mobile phone game for young people where they gain points by correctly navigating high risk drinking situations. The game doubles up as a method to record their progress in alcohol management over time.
Tracking Participant engagement
If a study is measuring the effectiveness of an online intervention it is important to measure the participants level of engagement with the system. We can collect tracking information on the participants use of an intervention site, and can deliver it either in aggregate form, or on an individual participant basis. The types of information we can collect include:
- Participant logins and pages / sections visited
- Estimates of time spent on sections
- Multimedia items viewed, and detail of what percentage of an audio or video was watched / listened to
- Use of interactive elements, and progress made through the system
- Contextual data about the participants engagement, such as geographic location and device used