Past Student Intern Hannah Dudley with Expert Self Care founder Knut Schroeder
at the Annual UK Student Health Association Conference
Who we are
Expert Self Care is the UK's first and only provider of dedicated self-help and health information apps based in Bristol, UK. Our clients and partners include universities, colleges, NHS organisations, local councils, charities, and private providers wanting to better support their communities.
We're led and owned by its founder Dr Knut Schroeder, a GP and Health Information Specialist with over 20 years experience of working in the NHS and UK Higher Education.
Knut formed the organically growing company in 2012, with the aim of helping forward-thinking organisations make trusted health information more easily accessible through targeted, easy-to-use and free-to-download mobile apps. That's because apps are brilliant tools to reach more people and give them a better experience - within the safety and comfort of their mobile phones.
How it started
Our story begins with founder Dr Knut realising that many of his patients either worried too much about their health - or not enough. People often took days, months or even years to bring up the courage to see their doctor for a health concern - only to be reassured after having been assessed. Or they left it too late seeking medical help, leading to sometimes serious consequences, such as self-harm or suicide, late-stage cancer or irreversible organ damage.
To help people make better-informed decisions, Knut wrote Diagnosing Your Health Symptoms For Dummies in 2010. Prompted by a rise in mental ill-health among university students, he and a colleague planned to write a similar book for young people and students. But while students were desperate for better access to trusted information, they didn't want a book! They wanted us to create app instead that would:
- provide information "faster and less frustrating than googling"
- "work without an internet connection when data had run out, during a night out or on a beach"
- be "dead easy to use - even after a few beers"
Despite not being techy, Knut took this as a challenge, got a team of talented and equally energised people together, started work on the successful Student Health App and founded Expert Self Care in 2012. One app led to another, and by July 2021 - after many 'apps' and downs - he and his growing number of committed teams had co-created 9 apps aimed at different groups of people who needed support, such as young carers, people who self-harm, and those struggling with bladder or bowel leakage.
Our apps have been downloaded over 150,000 times and are increasingly used by partners and clients throughout the UK and Ireland. One of our biggest achievements is winning the 2019 British Medical Association 'Patient Information Award' for wellbeing.
What makes us unique
- We're the UK's first and only provider of dedicated self-help and health information apps
- We're the only specialist health app provider certified by the Patient Information Forum 'PIF Tick', the UK's quality mark for trusted health information
- We create apps, write health information and have medical expertise - all in-house
We believe that everyone should have easy access to trusted health information on their mobile phones - tailored to their needs and general circumstances - so they can live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.
To be known as the UK's and Ireland's best provider of quality health information apps for universities, colleges, the NHS, local councils and other organisations with a duty of care.
- Users: To serve over 200,000 app users by the end of 2022 to improve access to trusted health advice
- Providers: To supply customised local pages on our apps to at least 40 universities, colleges, NHS providers and local councils in the UK by the end of 2022
- Impact: To publish the results of at least 5 case studies and app evaluations by the end of 2022 to provide more evidence around the use of digital health apps
In the medium and long-term, we hope to expand further internationally.
Our partners and clients include:
Values and beliefs
Think of us like a friendly yet highly professional GP whom you can trust to be motivated by doing a great job.
We like to:
- work together - co-create our apps together with our partners and users so they
- treat everyone fairly - regardless of their background
- support your aims - do our best to support you and have your best interests at heart
- focus on quality - to strive to create outstanding products and services that give you and others the best possible experience
- respond - to focus on providing solutions, sort problems as quickly as we can, and maintain a 'can-do' attitude
- keep learning - invite feedback from our users and those we work with to help us improve
- support growth - believe in fostering a 'growth mindset' in our teams
- achieve and maintain a good work-life balance - in fact, we want work to be an enjoyable and integral part of our lives
- have an impact - help to leave the world in a better place than we were born into
Corporate social responsibility
As a company and a team, we want to have a positive impact on all aspects of society, including economic, social and environmental.
This means we work in ways that aim to enhance society, protect our environment and help to improve planetary health.
Here are examples of how we try to achieve this and engage in sustainable development:
- We provide information. Providing passive information can support behaviour change and better self-management, reducing health service costs and resource use (Health Foundation, Helping people help themselves).
- We promote self-care. Because it empowers people, saves costs, reduces unnecessary and expensive interventions.
- We use ICT. Making use of existing mobile app technology and the widespread use of mobile phones. Reducing dependence on print materials.
- We promote better health. Our apps include information on how to lead happier and healthier lives to shift the focus on preventing physical and mental health issues rather than treating them.
- We try to live by example. To help improve global environmental health and reduce carbon emissions, we avoid unnecessary travel and if we have to, will try to travel on foot, by bike, or public transport. We work from home so we don't take up office space.
To learn more about how healthcare can become greener, read Sustainable Healthcare, co-written by our founder Knut Schroeder.
Why choose us
We invite you to work with us if you want to:
- provide health and wellbeing information more effectively
- signpost available support better
- reduce pressure on services by helping people to self-care and choose services wisely
- help people lead healthier and happier lives
- show you care by offering your communities digital access to information