Community powered co-creation in self-care

The UNITY platform from Health Fabric provides a self-management experience for users; in multiple languages enabling equality and inclusion in the field of digital health therapeutics.

Posted on: 14/11/2022

About the platform

The platform allows healthcare organisations to create health and wellness plans and then disseminate that plan to their target audience within different ethnic communities.

Health Fabric along with the Sandwell Council Public Health Team and the Crown Medical Practice are recipients of the Healthy Ageing Challenge Award. The Innovate UK supported project called ‘Reducing Health Inequalities and Enabling Self-care for all’
The Crown Medical practice are supporting the integration of the platform into a primary care clinical system; and using co-creation techniques to ensure the right experience for GP’s and their patients.

The Sandwell Public Health team are working with Health Fabric to create self-care plans in different languages, for different ethnic communities, to enable them to self-care.

This self-care content creation process follows the community powered co-creation framework facilitated by Health Fabric and the Sandwell Public Health team.

The community powered co-creation models follow 4 stages as described below:

Community powered co-creation model

As part of the Innovate project the Healthy Sandwell and Health Fabric teams have implemented the first phase of the model above as follows:

  • Step 1: they identified Mental Health as the first area of concern and participants from the local community in Sandwell to help create content in this area.
  • Step 2: involved further focus on the subject area; and self-care plans; which were in English to address self-care for Anxiety and Panic Attacks.
  • Step 3: involved the participation of different communities within Sandwell. This included representatives from communities that could read, write, and speak Urdu, Punjabi, Arabic, Polish, Gujrati, Afghan, Romanian and Somali languages.
Health Fabric Benefits
Health Fabric Benefits

Collaborating with these participants provided significant insights into self-care plans; and their relevance to the communities that were being engaged. Some of the learnings included:

  • The nuances of language and dialects within the communities
  • Social and educational backgrounds of users and how this would impact uptake and adoption of self-care
  • The cultural relevance and understanding of anxiety and mental health in the communities.
  • Barriers to uptake and adoption within the communities
  • Recommendations on how to overcome those barriers

A common theme ran through the communities which was how grateful they were to be “given a voice” in co-creating this content with them. The co-creation element was raised to another level; as the communities’ volunteered to re-write, translate and refine the self-care content within their own communities so that it was better placed to service the people in the right way. This would also accelerate step 4 in this process which was to publish and disseminate the content by the communities themselves.

The Innovate UK project is a two year long project, which will enable multiple health themes to be developed by the Healthy Sandwell team and Health Fabric with the help and support of the communities. This will continue to follow the Community Powered co-creation model for further health and wellness themes and managing long term conditions.

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