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The Future Challenges: Moving to Better Health

Moving to Better Health (MBH) is a project that aims to help people living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to improve the self-management of their condition by supporting them to understand and improve their everyday physical activity. It is part of our wider Future Challenges programme.

The project – now in its data collection and evaluation phase – brought Sirona Care and Health (Sirona) together with innovator KiActiv®  to support some of Sirona’s COPD patients to increase physical activity within their everyday lives, by using the KiActiv® Health technology.

How the programme worked

Sirona annually receive around 1000 -1200 referrals of patients with COPD within the Bristol region. (For reference Sirona transitioned from Bristol Community Health in April 2020). The ‘gold standard’ activity-based intervention is a gym based six-week pulmonary rehabilitation course (PR). This is a supervised programme of exercise training, health education and breathing techniques. However for reasons that often centre around logistics or self-esteem issues, only around 350 patients annually complete a course of PR.

The temporary termination of face to face PR nationwide (March 2020) due to Covid-19 led to Sirona adapting their offering to provide an alternative for those that are on the waiting list to complete PR. Instead of face to face PR, Sirona designed a remote PR programme for their patients. As this programme had not yet been rigorously evaluated, clinicians offered it to patients alongside other options, including KiActiv® to individually determine the best course of action for each patient. This offer was be for all COPD patients across Sirona’s geographical footprint of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire who were unable to undertake face to face PR at this time.

This project offered a personalised and guided online intervention that empowers participants to increase physical activity within their everyday lives. The KiActiv® Health service is available 24/7, requires no visits to clinics or gyms, and provides an accessible alternative option for those that choose not to take up one of the other options.

KiActiv® Health incorporates clinically proven behaviour change technology in an interactive personalised dashboard that uses data from an accurate activity tracker and dedicated mentor support. It is focused on everyday physical activity, promoting opportunities to be active across all ~112 waking hours a week, rather than 1-2 hours of an exercise intervention, with no barriers to age or mobility.

During the 12 weeks, participants were supported by phone calls with a trained KiActiv® mentor at key times in the programme. The calls helped participants build an understanding of the value of their daily activities and the confidence to plan, monitor and improve, without compulsion or prescription. At the end of the 12 weeks the participants had continued access to their personal dashboard and activity monitor to enable them to continue their self-management and the changes to their daily routines. KiActiv® has already been commissioned in Gloucestershire to support those with type 2 diabetes and other long term conditions.

Building an evidence base

Moving to Better Health is one of two projects being piloted under the theme of ‘Keeping Healthy at Home’ which forms part of the Future Challenges Programme. Through this Future Challenges programme, we work closely with innovators and local partners including clinicians, commissioners and the chosen trial sites to pilot their innovations and evaluate them in a real-world setting, building evidence to support possible future commissioning decisions and opportunities. We are working with the South West Academic Health Science Network to independently evaluate this project.

Find out about the other Future Challenges projects:



SmartGym Gloucestershire