Corporation Pop has won funding from Innovate UK to further develop Xploro, the app that helps children being treated for cancer understand what’s happening to them.

The grant, totalling £50,000, allows the Manchester agency to develop new functionality giving children the opportunity to communicate their experience and outcomes during treatment to healthcare professionals through games in the app.

A first of its kind content management system lets healthcare professionals include questions for their patients in the Xploro app. They will be specific to the child, at a frequency appropriate to them, and will mean clinicians can easily collect a wide range of Patient Reported Outcome and Experience Measures.

The child patients will be rewarded for answering questions by unlocking digital assets within the Xploro app. They will then use these to create and decorate a 3D virtual home for their avatar, the chirpy, augmented-reality character that the child creates, and which guides them through the app.

Dom Raban, Chair of Corporation Pop and CEO of Xploro, said: “The Coronavirus crisis made us think about how we could facilitate the flow of feedback from young patients to the medical teams looking after them, when face to face meetings were ruled out.

“What we’ve come up with will benefit everyone and is fun for the kids to use. We’re grateful that Innovate UK have once again recognised the importance of Xploro and of the new functionality we’ll be building in over the coming months.”

Corporation Pop was one of 800 successful companies, from a total of almost 9,000, that applied for funds from the Innovate UK pot of £40 million.

The cash will ensure that young patients using Xploro will have a voice during their treatment, something which traditionally has been hampered by their worries about bothering doctors or nurses, and worrying their family.

Until now the NHS has depended on patients filling out paper feedback questionnaires which can prove unreliable because of low completion rates, and relying heavily on recall of an experience which may have happened up to a fortnight earlier.

Further barriers arise during lockdown situations, such as the current COVID-19 crisis, when face-to-face meetings cannot happen. This new solution will negate the need for such meetings and free up precious time for clinicians who would otherwise be required to engage in online Skype or Zoom meetings.

Corporation Pop will begin work immediately on the Xploro enhancement and the new functionality will be rolled out in the autumn.