Welcome to Thiscovery! We provide organisations in the health and care system with a new way of carrying out online research and collaboration. Thiscovery - you’re here right now - is our online platform designed to make it easy for everyone to take part.

Here to improve and innovate in health and social care

The NHS and wider health and care system has a mammoth task - that of caring for and improving the health and wellbeing of the entire UK population. The pressures it faces are immense. We know that many of the difficulties for the health and care sector are to do with its multiple, complex, unpredictable systems including, bluntly, quite a lot of messy bits. Improving these systems which have developed over decades is really difficult.

“This is what Thiscovery is for - a genuine contribution to solving difficult problems.”

- Ruth Cousens, CEO (THIS Labs)

Thiscovery bridges the gap between talking about those improvements, and creating real evidence to action change. It allows the teams we work with to hold bespoke research and consultation projects at scale, online and with precise target audiences, and in a way which exists nowhere else.

Thiscovery was created by The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS Institute), a research centre at the University of Cambridge. The platform facilitated vital research during the COVID-19 pandemic and as of May 2023 is being developed by THIS Labs. THIS Labs Ltd is a purpose-led business created through a strategic partnership between the Health Foundation and the University of Cambridge. We're proud of our roots and focused on scaling Thiscovery's impact.

Designed with you in mind

Thiscovery is the place to go for anyone looking to collaborate on complex topics.

To involve more people we need the platform to be as accessible and intuitive as possible. It’s built with every user’s needs at its heart, whether that’s a participant taking part or a researcher running a project.

Anyone working with us gets access to a full suite of data collection tools, help with recruiting participants, and our team’s expertise to help researchers to go further and try new things to get better results.

And, crucially, the platform lets robust research and consultation take place at scale. If the message gets out to the right people, there’s no limit to the numbers who could take part in a project on Thiscovery.

Expert partners and a tailored experience

Organisations come to us with all manner of project ideas. Whatever they want to know and whoever they want to engage, our team of experts work collaboratively with everyone involved to craft a bespoke project which engages the right participants and gathers the right evidence.

Projects on Thiscovery consist of one or more tasks. Tasks include surveys, interviews and more. People who take part in a project can carry out tasks at a time and place that suits them. The work on Thiscovery sometimes also dovetails with and compliments other in-person research and consultation.

Project pages aid recruitment and engagement with your project
Task pages explain what a survey or interview will involve

More than a platform

Underlying everything is our ethos of being collaborative, inclusive, and scientifically rigorous. We’re very conscious about the accessibility of the platform and help teams build in ways for participants to get involved to minimise digital exclusion.

Thiscovery provides teams with the tools to deliver robust research design. They can trust that they’ll get genuine insights and solid evidence to help shape their recommendations. Those recommendations can quickly lead to actionable results, improving people's real-life experiences with health and care.

More people, better results, actionable change

The impact we’re creating isn’t hypothetical, it’s real and immediate.

On a practical level, we smooth away lots of the friction involved in setting up a research and consultation project. Sometimes this involves supporting a team upfront to get really clear on exactly the parameters of the work, what’s being explored and who you want to talk to. In the long-term that makes answering any later challenges on the project much simpler because all the thinking’s done upfront.

Thiscovery specialises in engaging people - relevant, specific types of people - in research and consultation studies. Teams can carry out their research at scale thanks to the reach and accessibility of the platform. We’re still in early stages and we’ll soon have studies which show the real-world impact of evidence gathered on Thiscovery, but it is already shaping delivery in care homes and hospitals.

“We focus on projects that have the potential to result in real change.”

- Ruth Cousens, CEO (THIS Labs)

And finally, a priority for us is building an asset for improvement. Improving the system of health and social care is a huge, complicated and long-term project - and we’re conscious that we’re just one part of that. As a team we are continually opening up conversations with others to explore how we can separately and collectively bring about change.

Cambridge Enterprise speak with the people involved in the creation and development of Thiscovery

For everyone with complex questions

Thiscovery is designed for anyone working in or interested in innovation and improvement in health and social care. We've already supported royal colleges, charities, government departments, universities, and other health and care organisations across the UK. Sound like you? Come and talk to us.

We’re not finished

We’re at the beginning of something important. And that means Thiscovery is a permanent work in progress. We listen to every piece of feedback from collaborators and participants and seek continuous improvement.

We’re also looking to the future. We know that not everyone wants a fully customised package. To complement our bespoke service, we’re working on a version of Thiscovery which will allow teams to build their projects directly on the platform. And we’re continually enhancing the Thiscovery experience for users.

Crucially we want to exponentially grow our crowd of participants - those millions of people who use, work in, manage, and study health and care services, every day.

“We’re doing this new approach to research right now, effectively and at scale. It’s an exciting time!”

- Ruth Cousens, CEO (THIS Labs)

Interested for more?

We’ll be sharing news, case studies, interviews and more on our blog from now on. In the meantime you can meet our team or get in touch! We’d love to talk to you.