Macmillan alliance will provide digital health apps to cancer patients
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UK: Macmillan alliance will provide digital health apps to cancer patients


Under a new partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and Big Health, the first of its kind in the UK, newly-diagnosed cancer patients will get free access to digital mental health therapies.

Big Health apps available include Sleepio and Daylight, which aim to treat insomnia and anxiety using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques.

In 2021, Big Health passed another milestone when Scotland became the first country to make the anxiety and insomnia digital therapeutics available nationally with full coverage by the NHS. And in May this year, Sleepio also became the first digital therapeutic to be recommended by NICE for NHS use.

The alliance means that cancer patients aged 18 who have been recently diagnosed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will get free access to Sleepio for insomnia and Daylight for anxiety to “manage their mental health needs”, said Macmillan in a statement.

“Insomnia and anxiety are two of the biggest unmet needs for people with cancer in the UK and can have a significant impact on quality of life,” according to the medical charity, which said the partnership “delivers on a shared vision to address the growing need to provide rapid, equitable mental health support to newly diagnosed cancer patients”.

According to Big health, randomised controlled trials have shown that 71% of patients who used Daylight achieved a reduction in anxiety, while 76% of Sleepio users achieved clinical improvement in sleep.

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