This project explores the effect of incorporation of game elements in mobile apps to ensure lasting lifestyle (dietary, activity levels and wellbeing) behavioural change. The project is currently focusing on breast cancer, but there is a potential of applying this approach to monitor and assist patient suffering from other chronic diseases.

The project involves students as partners that take part in the design of content, the design and development of software, as well as in testing and evaluating the research output.

The project was initiated in 2013 as a final year project by James Thomas, a BSc Multimedia Computing Science student under the supervision of Daphne Economou who developed a web app to track users diet, the PhytoApp. This project received £1,000 funding from the University of Westminster Alumni “Telephone Appeal” scheme over June–July 2015 to improve PhytoApp to enable monitoring breast cancer patients’ diet. This project has been extended by Nathan Bell a BSc Computer Science student as his final year project under the supervision of Daphne Economou who provided a more stable and improved version of PhytoApp.

In addition, this project received funding by the University of Westminster Strategic Research Fund 2015/16 scheme for January–July 2016 and it will be developed further to produce a stable/secure and polished prototype ready for testing with real users enabling monitoring breast cancer patients’ diet and supporting current breast cancer research undertaken by Dr Miriam Dwek at the Breast Cancer research group.


Health care app screenshot