Meet our health service partner, the Municipality of Bergen

This spring, the Municipality of Bergen in collaboration with Youwell plans to start developing an app for young people who suffer from anxiety. They gained a lot of insight and feedback last year from adolescents in general and from adolescents with anxiety problems.

This spring, work will finally begin to fully produce content for the platform while focusing on user privacy, user testing and universal design throughout the project.

We had a chat with the project manager at the Municipality of Bergen, Ragnhild Thornam, about the project and why they wanted to be part of Forhelse.

What was your motivation for joining the center?

We joined the center to gain experience in developing and using digital health services. The Children and Families Agency places great importance on knowledge-based work. That is part of the reason why developing digital health service based on research was so appealing to us. We also found it exciting and instructive to collaborate with a commercial player who has experience in creating digital interventions.

What is your role/contribution to the work package you are participating in?

The digital treatment for adolescents with anxiety project is part of 2 work packages – efficacy studies and implementation. In addition to leading the project, we contribute heavily by developing a lot of the content and testing out interventions on our users.

Read more about Work Package 1 here and Work Package 4 here.

What challenges are you facing in your project?

Our project targets young people aged 13-16. Creating something that both appeals to them and is useful to your target audience is an exciting challenge. We have therefore placed a great deal of importance on gaining insight into our target group. Going forward we plan to prioritise testing the app among the target group. Other challenges relate to privacy and login. It is also a challenge to make the timelines harmonise when we are three different players working together.

The Municipality of Bergen will cooperate with our commercial partner Youwell, which is responsible for developing the platform on which the digital program will be located. DigiHub will also help us produce and develop program content.

Prosjektleder, Ragnhild Thornam, i Bergen kommune

Why is digitalisation important in the health sector?

For the Municipality of Bergen, we find that some young people do not want to use services that require physical attendance. That is why creating digital alternatives is so important, so we can reach out to more people.

As we expand the scope of the intervention, we hope to be able to help more people at an early stage. Of course, we also hope that digitalisation will allow us to use our resources smartly and efficiently.

What do you want to achieve during the 8 years the center will exist? Our desire is to gain experience in creating and using digital alternatives to the services that exist today. We hope that the knowledge that we gain through collaborating with the center can be used in other development work.