Digital cancer support platform Mika is launched in the UK
According to Cancer Research UK, almost one in two people will develop cancer in the course of their lifetime. While survival rates in the UK have doubled in the last 40 years, a record number of patients are facing delays and disruptions in accessing oncological treatment across the UK, especially since the start of COVID-19.
Developed to tackle challenges in the cancer patient experience, the digital oncology platform Mika leverages AI-powered technology to provide personalised cancer therapy support, combining a patient-first approach with 24/7 hands-on help.
Tens of thousands of people living with and beyond cancer have already used the certified medical device, which has emerged as the leading oncological DTx platform in Germany in recent years. Now, Mika has been launched for both Android and iOS smartphones in the UK, broadening patient access to the free-of-charge digital therapeutic and marking its expansion into international terrain.
“The high physical and emotional distress of cancer patients does not stop at national or language borders. Supporting people affected by cancer shouldn’t either”, says Mika Co-Founder and Managing Director Dr Gandolf Finke. Considering challenges specific to UK healthcare delivery such as long waiting lists and socio-economic inequalities in access to cancer services across the country, he concludes: “Clinically effective DTx solutions hold enormous potential to bridge oncological quality of care gaps. Putting cancer patients’ needs at the forefront, we have developed Mika to help them feel empowered, stay in control of their cancer journey, and regain a better quality of life.”
For Chief Product Owner Darryl Feldman the UK launch of Mika is a matter particularly close to his heart: “This company step is of great personal relevance to me, as someone from the UK who suffered the loss of my mother due to cancer and seeing how much support is needed to navigate the NHS system, make sense of treatments and find proper emotional support along the way. I believe Mika will play a critical role in empowering people with cancer in my home country who can now benefit from reliable advice and psycho-oncological coaching at their fingertips.”
Technology meets patient-centricity and cutting-edge research
Mika provides cancer patients with easy-to-understand and contextually relevant disease education as well as evidence-based behavioural techniques to improve their self-management, self-efficacy, and quality of life. The programme includes, i.a., nutrition tips, physical exercises, and mindfulness training, and is complemented by NHS-specific content, with innovative machine learning technologies allowing for personalised recommendations and coaching. As Co-Founder Dr Finke sums it up: “The way Mika has been devised, it brings together the best of two worlds: It is a patient-centred, empathy-led digital therapy support platform with a ‘smart brain.’”
Purpose-built for the specific supportive care needs of cancer patients in the UK, the app-based therapeutic is being continuously enhanced. To this end, the experienced team behind Mika has conducted numerous patient usability studies and continues to expand its ongoing collaborations with scientific experts, hospitals, local healthcare networks, and counselling centres across the UK. Moreover, the digital health company will partner with renowned British cancer research centres to conduct further clinical studies on the medical impact of AI-powered personalisation in digital interventions.
Most recently, a clinical study conducted at the University Hospital Leipzig in Germany (OnkoDigiTrial II) has proven Mika’s efficacy: The DTx platform has been shown to help improve the mental health and well-being of patients across all oncology indications. More specifically, Mika can help to decrease psychological distress by reducing stress-associated symptoms of depression, fatigue, and anxiety.