Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


'Living with' prostate cancer

Principal investigator: Dr Patricia Schartau
Chief investigator: Prof Elizabeth Murray

Start date: September 2020
Finish date: December 2021

Background and aim

We are creating a digital health intervention (DHI), which improves the care of people affected by prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common UK cancer. New care models and treatment options influence the needs of men with prostate cancer. Despite improving outcomes, they can lead to organisational problems and unmet patient needs, such as the need for additional informational and emotional support. 

The aim of our multi-disciplinary project is to adapt, pilot, deploy and evaluate a user-friendly web- and app- based digital health intervention for prostate cancer. This addresses unmet informational, emotional, and practical needs of patients and carers; facilitates the work of healthcare professionals (e.g. real time dashboard) and improves patient and healthcare professional communication, thereby improving patient experience, health service delivery and health outcomes via patient empowerment and optimised care delivery.

The DHI includes:

  • a smart phone app to support patients
  • a website (central dashboard), which connects with the app and allows healthcare professionals to communicate with patients while collecting and processing patient reported outcome measures (PROMS).


Mixed methods, multi-disciplinary co-design approach divided into three main work packages.

  • Determining user needs by using qualitative methodology and summarising the evidence base with a literature review
  • Designing the digital health interventions using the principles of agile participatory design.
  • Refining the prototype with a pilot in the clinical setting.

Our Team

Researchers: Dr Patricia Schartau and Prof Murray at the eHealth unit in the Department of Primary Care and Population Health. Patricia Schartau also works as a GP in Hampstead and has a specialist interest in Men’s Health.

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI): Patients affected by prostate cancer.

Commercial Company: ‘Living With’ who have expertise in designing apps for the NHS. 

Healthcare professionals: From University College London Hospitals (UCLH) & the London Prostate Centre

Funding: Rosetrees Trust Healthcare & Engineering Award

Endorsed by: Macmillan Cancer Support

Contact details

If you are a patient and wish to take part in the study or would like more information, please contact the principle investigator:

Dr Patricia Schartau