Xploro: how a Manchester dad’s app is helping children with cancer cope better with their treatment

Two firms from Manchester have helped take the mobile app to kids across the world, to make the prospect of going into hospital less frightening.

<p>The Xploro app helps children feel less anxious about going into hospital</p>

The Xploro app helps children feel less anxious about going into hospital

Two Manchester businesses have teamed up to translate an app that empowers child cancer patients with information about their treatment, to help thousands of young people with the disease around the world.

Manchester-based Dom Raban created the digital therapeutics platform, Xploro, after his daughter, Issy, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, at the age of 13.

After discovering most of the information and guidance on child cancers is aimed at adults, rather than the patients themselves, Dom developed the app in 2015.

How does it work?

The platform uses artificial intelligence, augmented reality and gaming to teach young cancer patients about their condition, enabling them to ‘meet’ the people who’ll be treating them and ask questions about their treatment to minimise anxiety about the disease and make receiving care a more comfortable experience.

A nurse with a young girl using the Xploro app

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Now, with support from The Translation People, based in Cheadle, the app has been launched in Spain, the USA and will soon be used by the World Child Cancer charity to distribute it across Africa.

Working with the experts at The Translation People, all content within Xploro has been translated into different languages, ensuring users in each new territory are presented with the content in their own language, tailored specifically for children.

‘Children shouldn’t feel scared’

Dom, based in Manchester, said: “When my daughter was thankfully given the all clear, we spent some time reflecting on our experience. We’d spent 10 weeks in the US and had been graced with some of the best doctors on the planet, but all the information on what she was about to go through was provided to us as her parents, rather than aimed at her.

Dom Raban, app creator

“She was the one with the illness, receiving treatment, and this approach had made her feel scared, anxious and alone, so we launched Xploro to change that for other people.

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“After our UK launch, we carried out research, which showed how the app significantly helped to reduce stress in users, and we knew it had potential to help even more young people all around the world.

“Working with The Translation People, we’ve translated the app’s materials into different languages to target markets who require a tool to reduce stress and anxiety and improve clinical outcomes. Translating into Spanish was our priority as not only is it the native language of almost 15 per cent of people living in the USA, but it’s also the mother tongue of one in 20 people around the world.

“From there, we’ve localised the app into Latin American Spanish and US English. Next, we’ll be translating Xploro into French, German and Arabic and as we continue to expand, will keep adding new languages.”

How linguists have helped

Alan White, business development director at The Translation People, said: “We’re always keen to be involved in projects which deliver a greater good. Xploro is designed to really shake up the medical world and put young patients at the centre of communication about their condition, so we were pleased to have the opportunity to work together with Dom and his team.

A child using the Xploro app

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“Translations of medical terminology are complex as it is. But we were tasked with ensuring the content within Xploro could be presented in a way that young people would understand, and also ensuring that gender nuances in different languages were made completely neutral to accommodate every single user.

“This can’t be achieved by simply using technology and machine translation; it requires the expertise of native speaking, specialist linguists with experience in medical software translation.

“We worked with Dom to submit sample translations, which were then rated and scored by a group of child patients in order to select the linguist that best met their style preferences. Our team embraced Dom’s ambitions as their own and worked with children in mind, ensuring the app can be tailored for young cancer patients no matter where they are in the world.”

For more information on Xploro, visit xploro.health and for more information on The Translation People, visit thetranslationpeople.com.