CancerAid: A new tool for cancer patients

A new app brings a personalised touch to cancer treatment.

Written by Medibank

Five Sydney-based doctors have developed a new smartphone app to support cancer patients during treatment. CancerAid helps patients and their families tho to organise their journey with clear, individualised information.

Co-founder Dr Raghav Murali-Ganesh, a radiation oncology registrar, shares why he believes this app can make a difference.

What does CancerAid offer cancer patients?

CancerAid provides four solutions through a digital app platform:

  1. Personalised information. To address confusion and anxiety that patients experience, cancer information and treatment information is provided that is directly tailored to the patient.
  2. Journey organiser. To help patients who feel disorganised, the app allows them to manage and track their symptoms, medications, medical records and appointments.
  3. Telemedicine. To provide care to those with limited access, there is a unique form of telemedicine where specialists can monitor progress and provide support without being face-to-face.
  4. Community. Living with cancer can be a very isolating experience for many, so the CancerAid Community connects patients going through similar experiences.

What makes it a unique app?

CancerAid is a first-of-its-kind app for cancer patients. No current app on the market is as comprehensive, innovative or has achieved as much success in a short period of time – it became the number one cancer app on the Apple Store in just three weeks. Most cancer apps currently available charge patients, whereas CancerAid is free to all users.

CancerAid includes unique features such as 'Champions,' where patients can nominate five family members, friends or clinicians and share aspects of their profile with them. Along with this, two world-first research studies will be conducted within the app, investigating cancer nutrition and cancer rehab, which is very exciting.

"Living with cancer can be a very isolating experience for many, so the CancerAid Community connects patients going through similar experiences."

Is it a benefit to both patients and their doctors?

Yes, CancerAid is designed to be used by patients in conjunction with their doctors. CancerAid assists doctors
with information provision, telemedicine and communication. In fact, there is a 'Specialists' component being developed, where doctors can share details about their practice, as well as contact details for referrals.

Where did the idea for the app come from, and how did it develop?

CancerAid began two years ago, when we discovered the need for a digital solution while working as cancer doctors in hospital. Designing the product took place while conducting research in the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse hospital to investigate the health-seeking behaviours of patients and caregivers.

We have tested our product on thousands of patients to figure out what components are liked more than others, and how to improve our solution to help even more patients than ever before.

Making an app is hard work, but ensuring it is sustainable can be even harder. From raising a large seed investment and signing up customers for licensing our app, CancerAid is well-positioned to be sustainable for many years to come.

Does it support languages other than English?

Currently it only supports English. We are in early stages of developing a Mandarin and Cantonese version in 2017.

What has the uptake been like and what feedback have you received?

In our first three weeks, we had over 1000 downloads, 28 five-star reviews and 200 average daily users. Every day we receive emails from patients and carers with positive feedback.

Every cancer specialist we have shown it to (over 400) has appreciated the initiative and they are collaborating with us to make it even better than before.

Find out more or download CancerAid.

Written by Medibank

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