Imperial College London

DrHelenavan Velthoven

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Honorary Research Fellow
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 0788helena.van-velthoven10 Website

 
 
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Location

 

Reynolds BuildingCharing Cross Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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102 results found

Lam C, Milne-Ives M, Harrington R, Jani A, Helena van Velthoven M, Harding T, Meinert Eet al., 2022, Internet of things–Enabled technologies as an intervention for childhood obesity: A systematic review, PLOS Digital Health, Vol: 1, Pages: e0000024-e0000024

<jats:p>Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century, with consequences lasting into adulthood. Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices have been studied and deployed for monitoring and tracking diet and physical activity of children and adolescents as well as a means of providing remote, ongoing support to children and their families. This review aimed to identify and understand current advances in the feasibility, system designs, and effectiveness of IoT-enabled devices to support weight management in children. We searched Medline, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest Central and the IEEE Xplore Digital Library for studies published after 2010 using a combination of keywords and subject headings related to health activity tracking, weight management, youth and Internet of Things. The screening process and risk of bias assessment were conducted in accordance with a previously published protocol. Quantitative analysis was conducted for IoT-architecture related findings and qualitative analysis was conducted for effectiveness-related measures. Twenty-three full studies are included in this systematic review. The most used devices were smartphone/mobile apps (78.3%) and physical activity data (65.2%) from accelerometers (56.5%) were the most commonly tracked data. Only one study embarked on machine learning and deep learning methods in the service layer. Adherence to IoT-based approaches was low but game-based IoT solutions have shown better effectiveness and could play a pivotal role in childhood obesity interventions. Researcher-reported effectiveness measures vary greatly amongst studies, highlighting the importance for improved development and use of standardised digital health evaluation frameworks.</jats:p>

Journal article

Milne-Ives M, Fraser L, Khan A, Walker D, van Velthoven MH, May J, Wolfe I, Harding T, Meinert Eet al., 2021, Life.course digital T.wins – I.ntelligent M.onitoring for E.arly and continuous intervention and prevention (LifeTIME): Proposal for a proof-of-concept study, JMIR Research Protocols, ISSN: 1929-0748

Introduction: Multimorbidity, which is associated with significant negative outcomes for individuals and healthcare systems, is increasing in the UK. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the risk factors (including health, behaviour, and environment) for multimorbidity over time. An interdisciplinary approach is essential, as data science, artificial intelligence, and concepts from engineering (digital twins), have the potential to enable personalised simulation of life-course risk for the development of multimorbidity by identifying key risk factors throughout the life course. Predicting the risk of developing clusters of health conditions before they occur would add clinical value by enabling targeted early preventive interventions, advancing personalised care to improve outcomes, and reducing the burden on the UK’s healthcare systems. This study aims to identify key risk factors that predict multimorbidity throughout the lifetime through the development of an intelligent agent using digital twins so that early interventions can be delivered to improve health outcomes. The objectives of this study are to identify key predictors of lifetime risk of multimorbidity, create a series of simulated computational digital twins that predict levels of risk for specific clusters of factors, and test the feasibility of the system. Methods: This study will use machine learning to identify key risk factors throughout life that predict the risk of later multimorbidity to develop digital twins. The first stage of the development will be the training of a base predictive model. Data from the National Child Development Study (NCDS), the North West London Integrated Care Record (NWL ICR), the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), and Cerner's Real World Data will be split into subsets for training and validation, which will be done following the k-fold cross-validation procedure and assessed with the PROBAST risk of bias tool. Two additional datasets - from the e

Journal article

Surodina S, Lam C, Grbich S, Milne-Ives M, van Velthoven M, Meinert Eet al., 2021, Authors’ Response to Peer Reviews of “Machine Learning for Risk Group Identification and User Data Collection in a Herpes Simplex Virus Patient Registry: Algorithm Development and Validation Study”, JMIRx Med, Vol: 2, Pages: e28917-e28917

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Journal article

Surodina S, Lam C, Grbich S, Milne-Ives M, van Velthoven M, Meinert Eet al., 2021, Machine Learning for Risk Group Identification and User Data Collection in a Herpes Simplex Virus Patient Registry: Algorithm Development and Validation Study, JMIRx Med, Vol: 2, Pages: e25560-e25560

<jats:sec> <jats:title>Background</jats:title> <jats:p>Researching people with herpes simplex virus (HSV) is challenging because of poor data quality, low user engagement, and concerns around stigma and anonymity.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Objective</jats:title> <jats:p>This project aimed to improve data collection for a real-world HSV registry by identifying predictors of HSV infection and selecting a limited number of relevant questions to ask new registry users to determine their level of HSV infection risk.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Methods</jats:title> <jats:p>The US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2015-2016) database includes the confirmed HSV type 1 and type 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2, respectively) status of American participants (14-49 years) and a wealth of demographic and health-related data. The questionnaires and data sets from this survey were used to form two data sets: one for HSV-1 and one for HSV-2. These data sets were used to train and test a model that used a random forest algorithm (devised using Python) to minimize the number of anonymous lifestyle-based questions needed to identify risk groups for HSV.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Results</jats:title> <jats:p>The model selected a reduced number of questions from the NHANES questionnaire that predicted HSV infection risk with high accuracy scores of 0.91 and 0.96 and high recall scores of 0.88 and 0.98 for the HSV-1 and HSV-2 data sets, respectively. The number of questions was reduced from 150 to an average of 40, depending on age and gender. The model, therefore, provided high predictability of risk of infection with minimal required input.</jats:p>

Journal article

Wu Q, Huang Y, van Velthoven MH, Wang W, Chang S, Zhang Yet al., 2021, Feasibility of using WeChat to improve infant and young child feeding in rural areas in China: A mixed quantitative and qualitative study, PLOS ONE, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1932-6203

Journal article

Lam C, van Velthoven M, Meinert E, 2020, Developing a blockchain-based supply chain system for advanced therapies: study protocol, JMIR Research Protocols, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 1929-0748

Advanced therapies, including cell and gene therapies, have shown therapeutic promise in curing life-threatening diseases such as leukaemia and lymphoma. However, they can be complicated and expensive to deliver due to their sensitivity to environment, troublesome tissue, cell, or genetic material sourcing and complicated regulatory requirements.

Journal article

Wu Q, Huang Y, Liao Z, van Velthoven MH, Wang W, Zhang Yet al., 2020, Effectiveness of WeChat for Improving Exclusive Breastfeeding in Huzhu County China: Randomized Controlled Trial, JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH, Vol: 22, ISSN: 1438-8871

Journal article

Milne-Ives M, Lam C, van Velthoven M, Meinert Eet al., 2020, The impact of Brexit on the UK pharmaceutical supply chain: a scoping review protocol, JMIR Research Protocols, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 1929-0748

The continuing uncertainty around Brexit has caused concern in the pharmaceutical industry and among healthcare professionals and patients. The exact consequences of Brexit on the UK pharmaceutical supply chain will depend on whether a deal is reached and what it entails, but it is likely to be affected by the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Regulatory issues and delays in supply have the potential to seriously negatively affect the ability of UK residents to receive an adequate and timely supply of necessary medicines.

Journal article

Milne-Ives M, Lam C, Van Velthoven M, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Mobile fitness and weight management apps: an evaluation protocol, JMIR Research Protocols, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-5, ISSN: 1929-0748

Obesity is a large contributing factor for many non-communicable diseases and is a growing problem worldwide. Many mobile apps have been developed to help users improve their fitness and weight management behaviours. However, the speed at which apps are created and updated means that it is important to periodically assess their quality.

Journal article

Masuda C, Oreglia E, Ly S, McLaren M, Free C, Tijamo C, Ou A, van Velthoven MH, Williamson A, Smith Cet al., 2020, Family planning practices of women working in the Cambodian garment industry: a qualitative study, CONTRACEPTION AND REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE, Vol: 5

Journal article

Smith C, van Velthoven MH, 2020, Best practices in digital health to improve antiretroviral treatment adherence, BMJ HEALTH & CARE INFORMATICS, Vol: 27

Journal article

Meinert E, Rahman E, Potter A, Lawrence W, Stenfors T, van Velthoven Met al., 2020, Usability of the mobile digital health ‘NoObesity’ app for families and healthcare professionals: a feasibility study, JMIR Research Protocols, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 1929-0748

Background: Almost a quarter or more than a fifth of children in the United Kingdom (UK) are overweight or obese by the time they start school. The UK Department of Health and Social Care has updated national policy for combating childhood obesity in 2018, with critical outcomes centred on sugar and caloric consumption reduction. Health Education England has developed two digital apps for families with children up to 15 and for their associated health care professionals (HCPs) to provide a digital learning resource and tool aimed at encouraging healthy lifestyles to prevent obesity.Objective: This feasibility study assesses Health Education England’s NoObesity app usability and acceptability to undertake activities to improve families’ diet and physical activity. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the app’s influence on self-efficacy and goal setting and to determine what can be learned to improve its design for future studies, should there be evidence of adoption and sustainability. Methods: The study population will include 20-40 families and their linked health care professionals. Recognising issues related to digital access associated with socioeconomic status (SES) and impact on information technology (IT) use, study recruitment will be regionally focused on a low SES area. The study will last nine-months; three months intervention period and six months follow up. The evaluation of feasibility, acceptability, and usability will be conducted using the following scales and theoretical frameworks: 1. The system usability scale; 2. The Reach Effectiveness Adoption Implementation Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework; 3. Bandura’s model of health promotion; and 4. The Nonadoption, Abandonment, and Challenges to the Scale-up, Spread, and Suitability (NASSS) framework. App use will be captured and quantitatively analysed for net use patterns (e.g. number of screens viewed, number of logins, cumulative minutes using the app, number of plans made

Journal article

Masuda C, Oreglia E, Sokhey L, McLaren M, Free C, Tijamo C, Amra O, Velthoven MHV, Williamson A, Smith Cet al., 2020, Family planning practices of women working in the Cambodian garment industry: a qualitative study

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p><jats:bold>Background:</jats:bold> Women working in Cambodian garment factories have unmet needs for family planning (contraception and safe abortion) services, because of their background and living conditions. This study describes their experiences regarding abortion and contraception as part of a larger project to develop an intervention to support comprehensive post-abortion care.<jats:bold>Methods: </jats:bold>We conducted semi-structured interviews with women seeking abortion services at private health facilities. In addition, we interviewed the private providers of abortion and contraception services surrounding garment factories. Interviews lasted up to 60 minutes and were conducted in Khmer and later translated into English. A thematic analysis was undertaken, with medical abortion experiences coded according to the Cambodia comprehensive abortion care protocol.<jats:bold>Results:</jats:bold> We interviewed 16 women and 13 providers between August and November 2018. Most women reported being married and had at least one child. Among factory workers the major reported reasons for abortion were birth spacing and financial constraints. Family, friends, or co-workers were the major information resources regarding abortion and contraception, and their positive or negative experiences strongly influenced women’s attitude towards both. Medical abortion pills were not always provided with adequate instructions. Half of the participants had a manual vacuum aspiration procedure performed after medical abortion. While women knew the side effects of medical abortion, many did not know the adverse warning signs and the signs of abortion completion. Only three women started post abortion family planning, as most of the women expressed fear and hesitation due to concerns about side effects of modern contraception. Fear of infertility was particularly reported among

Journal article

Surodina S, Lam C, Grbich S, Milne-Ives M, Velthoven MV, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Requirements Engineering of a Herpes Simplex Virus Patient Registry: Alpha Phase

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p><jats:bold>Background</jats:bold> Collecting data from people with herpes simplex virus is challenging because of poor data quality, low user engagement, and concerns around stigma and anonymity. This project aimed to improve data collection for a real-world HSV registry by identifying predictors of HSV infection and selecting a limited number of relevant questions to ask new registry users in order to determine the HSV infection risk group. <jats:bold>Methods</jats:bold>. The US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2015-16) database has confirmed HSV1 and HSV2 status of American participants (14-49 years) as well as a wealth of demographic and health-related data. Two datasets – for HSV1 and HSV2 – were formed using this database, and an anonymous lifestyle-data based questionnaire with a Random Forest algorithm was devised using Python. The algorithm was optimised to reduce the number of questions and to identify risk groups for HSV. Data was split into subsets to train and test the model. <jats:bold>Results </jats:bold>The model selected a reduced number of questions from the NHANES questionnaire that predicted HSV infection risk with high accuracy scores of 0.91 and 0.96 and high recall scores of 0.88 and 0.98 for HSV1 and HSV2 datasets, respectively. The number of questions was reduced from 150 to an average of 40, depending on age and gender, that together provides high predictability of the infection <jats:bold>Conclusions</jats:bold> This machine-learning algorithm for risk identification of people infected with HSV can be used in a real-world evidence registry to collect relevant lifestyle data. A current limitation is the absence of real user data and integration with electronic medical records that would enable model learning and improvement. Future work will explore model adjustments, anonymisation options, e

Journal article

Masuda C, Oreglia E, Sokhey L, McLaren M, Free C, Tijamo C, Amra O, Velthoven MV, Williamson A, Smith Cet al., 2020, Family planning practices of women working in the Cambodian garment industry: a qualitative study

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>Background Women working in Cambodian garment factories have unmet needs for contraception and safe abortion services, because of their background and living conditions. This study describes their experiences regarding abortion and contraception as part of a larger project to develop an intervention to support comprehensive post-abortion care.Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with women seeking abortion services at private health facilities. In addition, we interviewed the private providers of abortion and contraception services surrounding garment factories. Interviews lasted up to 60 minutes and were conducted in Khmer and later translated into English. A thematic analysis was undertaken, with medical abortion experiences coded according to the Cambodia comprehensive abortion care protocol.Results We interviewed 16 women and 13 providers between August and November 2018. Most women were married and had at least one child. Among factory workers the major reported reasons for abortion were birth spacing and financial constraints. Family, friends, or co-workers were the major information resources regarding abortion and contraception, and their positive or negative experiences strongly influenced women’s attitude towards both. Medical abortion pills were not always provided with adequate instructions. Half of the participants had a manual vacuum aspiration procedure performed after medical abortion. While women knew the side effects of medical abortion, many did not know the adverse warning signs and the signs of abortion completion. Only three women started post abortion family planning, as most of the women expressed fear and hesitation due to side effects and misconceptions related to with modern contraception. Fear of infertility was particularly reported among young women without children.Conclusion This research shows that in this setting not all women are receiving comprehen

Journal article

de Cock C, van Velthoven M, Milne-Ives M, Mooney M, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Use of apps to promote childhood vaccination: a systematic review, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2291-5222

Vaccination is a critical step to reducing child mortality; however, vaccination rates have declined in many countries in recent years. This decrease has been associated with an increase in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. The potential for leveraging mobile platforms to promote vaccination coverage has been investigated in the development of numerous mobile apps. Whilst many are available for public use, there is little robust evaluation of these applications.

Journal article

Milne-Ives M, van Velthoven M, Meinert E, 2020, Mobile apps for real-world evidence in health care, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Vol: 27, Pages: 976-980, ISSN: 1067-5027

The use of real-world evidence for health care research and evaluation is growing. Mobile health apps have often-overlooked potential to contribute valuable real-world data that are not captured by other sources and could provide data that are more cost-effective and generalizable than can randomized controlled trials. However, there are several challenges that must be overcome to realize the potential value of patient-used mobile health app real-world data, including data quality, motivation for long-term use, privacy and security, methods of analysis, and standardization and integration. Addressing these challenges will increase the value of data from mobile health apps to inform real-world evidence and improve patient empowerment, clinical management, disease research, and treatment development.

Journal article

Alturkistani A, Lam C, Foley K, Stenfors T, Van Velthoven M, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) evaluation methods: A systematic review, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol: 22, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1438-8871

Background: Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have the potential for broad education impact due to many learners undertaking these courses. Despite their reach, there is a lack of knowledge about which methods are used for evaluating these courses.Objective: This review aims to identify current MOOC evaluation methods in order to inform future study designs.Methods: We systematically searched the following databases: (1) SCOPUS; (2) Education Resources Information Center (ERIC); (3) IEEE Xplore; (4) Medline/PubMed; (5) Web of Science; (6) British Education Index and (7) Google Scholar search engine for studies from January 2008 until October 2018. Two reviewers independently screened abstracts and titles of the studies. Published studies in English that evaluated MOOCs were included. The study design of the evaluations, the underlying motivation for the evaluation studies, data collection and data analysis methods were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. The quality of the included studies was appraised using the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool for RCTs, the NIH - National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute quality assessment tool for cohort observational studies, and for “Before-After (Pre-Post) Studies With No Control Group”.Results: The initial search resulted in 3275 studies, and 33 eligible studies were included in this review. Studies mostly had a cross-sectional design evaluating one version of a MOOC. We found that studies mostly had a learner-focused, teaching-focused or platform-focused motivation to evaluate the MOOC. The most used data collection methods were surveys, learning management system data and quiz grades and the most used data analysis methods were descriptive and inferential statistics. The methods for evaluating the outcomes of these courses were diverse and unstructured. Most studies with cross-sectional design had a low-quality assessment, whereas randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies receiv

Journal article

Smith C, van Velthoven MH, Nguyen DT, Nguyen HN, Vu PA, Al-Ahdal TMA, Hassan OG, Kouz B, Huy NT, Brewster M, Pakenham-Walsh Net al., 2020, How primary healthcare workers obtain information during consultations to aid safe prescribing in low-income and lower middle-income countries: a systematic review, BMJ GLOBAL HEALTH, Vol: 5, ISSN: 2059-7908

Journal article

Lam C, Milne-Ives M, van Velthoven M, Meinert Eet al., 2020, IoT-enabled technologies for weight management in children and young people: a systematic review protocol, JMIR Research Protocols, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 1929-0748

Background:Childhood obesity is a serious global issue, leading to greater medical spending in obesity-related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. There is a need for healthcare services that link health behaviour, such as diet and physical activity, to risk factors and provides better advice and feedback to users, which Internet of Things-enabled technologies could facilitate.Objective:The objective of the systematic review will be to identify available Internet of Things-enabled technologies for weight management of children and young people (users below the age of 18). Also it will aim to understand the use, effectiveness and feasibility of these technologies.Methods:We will search Medline, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest Central and the IEEE Xplore Digital Library for studies published after 2010 using a combination of keywords and subject headings related to health activity tracking, youth and Internet of Things. In addition, a Google search to identify grey literature will be conducted. Two authors will independently screen the titles and abstracts identified from the search and accept or reject the studies according to the study inclusion criteria. Any discrepancies will then be discussed and resolved. The quality of the included studies will be assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklists. Data from included studies will be extracted into a predesigned form to identify the types of devices or apps, Internet of Things applications and health outcomes related to weight management.Results:A preliminary search on Medline returned 484 results. The full systematic review will be conducted within the next 12 months and the publication of the final review and meta-analysis is expected at the beginning of the year 2020.Conclusions:The effectiveness and feasibility of physical activity trackers and consumer wearables for different patient groups have been well reviewed but there are currently no published reviews

Journal article

Lam C, van Velthoven M, Meinert E, 2020, Application of “Internet of Things” in cell-based therapy delivery: a systematic review protocol, JMIR Research Protocols, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 1929-0748

Internet of Things (IoT) or Industry 4.0, represents a ‘smart’ shift to more interconnected manufacturing processes where individual entities within the supply chain communicate with each other in order to achieve greater flexibility and responsiveness in manufacturing and leaner manufacturing to reduce cost of production. IoT has proven itself instrumental in driving leaner manufacturing and more efficient systems in other industries such as transportation and logistics. While cell-based therapeutic products hold the promise of transforming various diseases, the delivery of these products is complex and challenging. This review aims to understand the applicability of IoT in cell-based product supply chain and delivery.

Journal article

Milne-Ives M, Lam C, De Cock C, Van Velthoven M, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Mobile apps for health behaviour change in physical activity, diet, drug and alcohol use, and mental health: a systematic review, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 2291-5222

Background: With a growing focus on patient interaction with health management, mobile apps are increasingly used to deliver behavioural health interventions. The large variation in these mobile health apps - their target patient group, health behaviour, and behavioural change strategies - has resulted in a large but incohesive body of literature.Objective: The purpose of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of mobile apps at improving health behaviours and outcomes, and to examine the inclusion and effectiveness of Behaviour Change Techniques in mobile health apps.Methods: Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science were systematically searched for articles published between 2014 and 2019 that evaluated mobile apps for health behaviour change. Two authors independently screened and selected studies according to the eligibility criteria. Data was extracted and risk of bias assessed by one reviewer and validated by a second reviewer.Results: 52 randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria and were included in analysis - 37 studies focused on physical activity, diet, or a combination of both, 11 on drug and alcohol use, and 4 on mental health. Participant perceptions were generally positive - only one app was rated as less helpful and satisfactory than the control - and the studies that measured engagement and usability found relatively high study completion rates (mean = 83.3%, n = 18) and ease of use ratings (3 significantly better than control, 9/15 rated >70%) . However, there was little evidence of changed behaviour or health outcomes.Conclusions: There was not strong evidence found to support the effectiveness of mobile apps at improving health behaviours or outcomes because few studies found significant differences between the app and control groups. Further research is needed to identify the behaviour change techniques that are most effective at promoting behaviour change. Improved reporting is necessary to accurately evaluate t

Journal article

Wu Q, Huang Y, Velthoven MHV, Wang W, Chang S, Zhang Yet al., 2020, WeChat can be a potential way to deliver infant and young child feeding recommendations in rural areas in China: A mixed quantitative and qualitative study

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>Background Appropriate infant and young child feeding practices are the basis for child nutrition, which can be influenced by mothers’ exposure to health promotion messages. In China, WeChat is gradually changing the channels people receive information. This paper aims to explore the feasibility of using WeChat as an intervention to improve Infant and young child feeding in rural China. Methods A mixed-methods study was carried out in Huzhu County, Qinghai province, China. Quantitative data were from two cross-sectional surveys with children aged 6-23 months and their caregivers to collected feeding knowledge and practices, caregiver’s use of smartphones and WeChat in 2012 (N=1804) and 2018 (N=754), respectively. Qualitative data were from 33 semi-structured interviews with pregnant women and mothers. In addition, we developed a WeChat feeding health education platform and asked women for their using experiences. Results In both surveys, less than 10% of caregivers knew that breastfeeding can be continued up to two years, less than 50% knew the accurate duration of exclusive breastfeeding, and only around 20% knew meat should be given to children from the age of 6-8 months. Similarly, the feeding practices were suboptimal and most key infant feeding practices did not change over the years. In both surveys, only around 30% of caregivers ever received feeding information during pregnancy or after delivery. Among them, around 50% of caregivers received from their relatives and friends, followed 30% from health facilities and communities. More than 80% of mothers were currently using both a smartphone and the WeChat app. Mothers could easily access the internet on their smartphones (90.8%), as WiFi was available at home or at the workplace. Furthermore, 75.4% of them were willing to receive feeding information from WeChat official accounts. The WeChat feeding health education platform was gen

Journal article

van Velthoven M, Lam C, de Cock C, Stenfors T, Chaudhury H, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Development of an innovative real world evidence registry for the herpes simplex Virus: a case study, JMIR Dermatology, Vol: 3, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2562-0959

Background: Infection with the Herpes Simplex Virus is common but is not well understood and stigmatised. Whilst a considerable number of people experience mild to severe physical symptoms after infection, only one sub-effective drug is available for treatment. A registry collecting real world data reported by people with the Herpes Simplex Virus could help them manage their condition, facilitate research into a vaccine, better treatment, and the impact of herpes on other conditions.Objective: This paper reports on the development a registry to collect real world data reported by people with the Herpes Simplex Virus.Methods: A case study design was selected to support a systematic means of observing the subject of investigation. The case study followed seven stages: plan, design, prepare, collect, analyse, create and share. We carried out semi-structured interviews with experts, thematically analysed the findings and built use cases. These will be used to generate detailed models of how a real world evidence registry might look, feel, and operate for different users.Results: We found the following key themes in the interviews: 1) stigma and anonymity; 2) selection bias; 3) understanding treatment and outcome gaps; 4) lifestyle factors; 5) individualised vs population-level; and 6) severe complications of herpes simplex virus. We developed use cases for different types of patients, members of the public, researchers and clinicians for a herpes simplex virus registry.Conclusions: This case study showed insights for the development of an appropriate registry to collect real world data reported by people with the Herpes Simplex Virus. Further research is needed on developing and testing the registry with different users and evaluate its feasibility and effectiveness of collecting data to support symptom management, and the development of vaccines and better treatment.

Journal article

Fawcett E, van Velthoven M, Brindley D, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Long-term weight management using wearable technology in overweight and obese adults: A systematic review, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2291-5222

Background:Whilst there are many wearable devices available to help people losing weight and decrease the rising obesity prevalence, their effectiveness in long-term weight management has not been established.Objective:To systematically review the literature on using wearable technology for long-term weight loss in overweight and obese adults.Methods:We searched the following databases: Medline, Embase, Compendex - ScienceDirect, Cochrane Central, and Scopus. Studies were included that took measurements over a period of ≥1 year (long-term) and had adult participants with a BMI > 24. Two reviewers screened titles and abstracts and assessed selected full text papers for eligibility. Risk of bias assessment was done through the following tools appropriate for different study types: The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool, ROBINS-I, AMSTAR, ‘6 Questions to Trigger Critical Thinking’. The results of the studies are provided in a narrative summary. Results: We included five intervention studies: four randomised controlled trials, and one non-randomized study. Also, we used insights from six systematic reviews, four commentary papers and a dissertation. The interventions delivered by wearable devices did not show a benefit over comparator interventions, but overweight and obese participants still lost weight over time. The included intervention studies were likely to suffer from bias. There was a range of conclusions between the included studies, due to differences in their objectives, methods, and results. Therefore, it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis. Conclusions:This review showed some evidence that wearable devices can improve long-term physical activity and weight loss outcomes, but there was not enough evidence to show a benefit over comparator methods. A major issue is the challenge to separate the effect of decreasing use of wearable devices over time from the effect of the wearable devices on outcomes. Consistency in study methods is needed i

Journal article

de Cock C, Milne-Ives M, van Velthoven M, Alturkistani A, Lam C, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Effectiveness of conversational agents (virtual assistants) in healthcare: protocol for a systematic review, JMIR Research Protocols, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 1929-0748

Background:Conversational agents have evolved in recent decades to become multimodal, multifunctional platforms that have the potential to automate a diverse range of health-related activities, supporting the general public, patients and physicians. Multiple studies have reported the development of these agents and recent systematic reviews have described the scope of use of conversational agents in healthcare. However, there is little focus on the effectiveness of these systems, thus the viability and applicability of these systems is unclear.Objective:The objective of this systematic review is to assess the effectiveness of conversational agents in healthcare and to identify limitations, adverse events and areas for future investigation of these agents.Methods:The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols will be used to structure this protocol. The focus of the systematic review is guided by a population, intervention, comparator, and outcome framework . A systematic search of PubMed (Medline), EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science will be conducted. Two authors will independently screen the titles and abstracts of identified references and select studies according to the eligibility criteria. Any discrepancies will then be discussed and resolved. Two reviewers will extract and validate data, respectively, from included studies into a standardised form and conduct quality appraisal.Results:At the time of writing, we have begun a preliminary literature search and piloting of the study selection process.Conclusions:This systematic review aims to clarify the effectiveness, limitations and future applications of conversational agents in healthcare. Our findings may be used to inform future development of conversational agents and further the personalisation of care.

Journal article

Van Velthoven M, Milne-Ives M, de Cock C, Mooney M, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Use of apps to promote childhood vaccination: a systematic review protocol, JMIR Research Protocols, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 1929-0748

Background:The decline in the uptake of routine childhood vaccinations has resulted in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination apps can be used as a tool to promote immunization through the provision of reminders, dissemination of information, peer-support and feedback.Objective:The aim of this review is to systematically review the evidence on the use of apps to support childhood vaccination uptake, information storage and record sharing. Methods:We will identify relevant papers by searching electronic databases: PubMed, EMBASE (Ovid), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, ERIC and ClinicalTrials.gov. We will review the reference lists of those studies that we include to identify relevant additional papers not initially identified using our search strategy. In addition to the use of electronic databases, we will search for grey literature on the topic. The search strategy will include only terms relating to or describing the intervention, which is app use. As almost all titles and abstracts are in English, 100% of these will be reviewed, but retrieval will be confined to those in the English language. We will record the search outcome on a specifically designed record sheet. Two reviewers will select observational and intervention studies, appraise the quality of the studies and extract the relevant data.

Journal article

Boylan A-M, Turk A, van Velthoven MH, Powell Jet al., 2020, Online patient feedback as a measure of quality in primary care: a multimethod study using correlation and qualitative analysis, BMJ OPEN, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2044-6055

Journal article

Milne-Ives M, Lam C, van Velthoven M, Meinert Eet al., 2020, Mobile apps for health behaviour change: a systematic review protocol, JMIR Research Protocols, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 1929-0748

The popularity and ubiquity of mobile apps has rapidly expanded in the past decade. With a growing focus on patient interaction with health management, mobile apps are increasingly used to monitor health and deliver behavioural interventions. The large variation in these mobile health apps - their target patient group, health behaviour, and behavioural change strategy - has resulted in a large but incohesive body of literature.

Journal article

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