Health on the Move study to examine the health and wellbeing of migrants in the UK

There are millions of people living in the UK who were born abroad. Their health and wellbeing during migration and while living in the UK, as well as the socio-environmental determinants for health in this group have not been studied well. The research group of prof. Robert Aldridge at UCL wants to change this. The researchers plan to collect information about a wide range of topics via regular surveys on a mobile app and analyse the collected data. The team also wants to use the study results to engage with policy makers to support informed decision making with regard to the health and wellbeing of the UK’s migrant community. Our team at The Hyve developed and maintains a mobile app (HOME App) and the platform supporting this study.

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The challenge

The ‘Health on the Move’ study required a solution focusing on two main groups: study participants and researchers.

This study required a platform that allows participants to:

  • learn about the study, check eligibility, provide informed consent and register for the study using a mobile app.
  • answer surveys on the app and keep track of their progress.
  • receive notifications when new surveys are available and reminders when a survey needs to be completed.

The solution should also allow researchers to:

  • create surveys and send them at regular intervals and at any time without modifying the mobile app.
  • customize content and delivery time of the notifications on-the-fly.

One of the main challenges in remote studies such as these is participant compliance over a longer period of time. Therefore, the design of the user interface and the configurability of notifications and reminders were of paramount importance.

How we solved it

RADAR-base for HOME App study

The open-source RADAR-base stack formed the basis for this project, allowing us to build upon an existing end-to-end solution and customizing it to the needs of researchers and participants alike. Core components of the HOMEapp solution are the aRMT (active Remote Monitoring Technology) app which can be used to collect electronic patient reported outcomes (ePRO) such as surveys and other active tasks, the Kafka-based backend that allows real-time data streaming and a configuration scheme that allows for customization of protocols as well as functionalities for randomized A/B testing. Take a look at the study protocol to learn more about the set up.

Our team built additional functionalities based on the requirements from Aldridge’s group, such as self-enrolment and consent management. We developed these functionalities on top of the open source aRMT app and adapted the platform backend to fit the purpose. This was all possible thanks to the modularity and extendability of the RADAR-base platform.

Screenshot of the HOME App home screen. The design was provided by UCL and implemented by The Hyve

The outcome

We are really proud of the solution our RADAR-base software engineers developed and implemented in close collaboration with the UCL research group/the Public Health Data Science group at UCL. The HOME App allows researchers to continuously and in parallel collect self-reported data from thousands of participants. These data and the analysis outcomes are not only important for academia, but should have a direct positive effect on the migrant community in the UK eventually benefit the society at large.

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  • Are you a researcher in pharma or academia or a CRO setting-up a new observational study or decentralized trial to identify digital biomarkers?
  • Are you a data scientist who wants to explore streams of patient data and develop prediction algorithms?
  • Are you an IT expert looking for a modular solution that can be integrated with devices or sensors for remote data collection?

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