LvL UP honoured with Silver award at the 2023 World Media Festivals, Hamburg, Germany

We are so proud to receive the Silver award of the World Media Festivals 2023 in Hamburg for a special digital health intervention component, a 4-episode TV show, embedded in our holistic preventive care intervention, LvL UP.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, and Common Mental Disorders (CMDs), such as depression or anxiety, are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, causing major health, social, and financial burdens. Like other regions of the globe, countries in Southeast Asia, such as Singapore, are facing the challenges arising from the increase of NCDs and CMDs, which pose a significant threat to their healthcare systems.

To address this important problem, our team at the Singapore-ETH Centre, aims to develop a scalable digital health intervention to prevent NCDs and CMDs. Smartphone-delivered and personalized health interventions may be an effective, low-cost, and scalable solution to prevent these conditions. However, prevention-focused health interventions represent a large unmet need, and low user engagement has limited the general usefulness of many mobile health interventions. MobileCoach, an open-source platform based on an automated conversational agent (chatbot) to deliver scalable, interactive, and engaging mobile health interventions, is used in this project to address this challenge. In addition, we leverage an innovative engagement approach that combines storytelling embedded in an app-exclusive “mini-TV” show consisting of 4 short episodes, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, progress feedback visualization, gamification, and builds upon leading evidence- and theory-based frameworks in the areas of behavior change to build our intervention, named LvL UP.

LvL UP’s digital lifestyle coaches are four characters who portray typical Singaporean lifestyles and are embedded within an overarching storyline to build a working alliance with intervention users (i.e., a shared understanding of treatment goals and tasks). This attachment bond is robustly linked to treatment success. More specifically, coaching strategies will be personalized according to (1) an individual’s preferences in lifestyle behavior and (2) the current stage of change. In doing so, the coaching will be rooted in psychoeducation and cognitive behavioral therapy, covering content in the following three areas:

1. Move More: focused on physical activity, exercise, and sedentary behavior
2. Eat Well: focused on nutrient-rich food, disease-preventing diets, and barriers to healthy eating
3. Stress Less: focused on emotional regulation strategies for stress, anxiety, and low mood management


Castro O, Mair JL, Salamanca-Sanabria A, Alattas A, Keller R, Zheng S, Jabir A, Lin X, Frese BF, Lim CS, Santhanam P, van Dam RM, Car J, Lee J, Tai E Shyong, Fleisch E, von Wangenheim F, Tudor Car L, Müller-Riemenschneider F and Kowatsch T (2023) Development of “LvL UP 1.0”: a smartphone-based, conversational agent-delivered holistic lifestyle intervention for the prevention of non-communicable diseases and common mental disorders. Front. Digit. Health 5:1039171, 10.3389/fdgth.2023.1039171

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