App gives power back to patients

By Kelly Jirsa

App gives power back to patients
Cancer survivor and app developer is empowering patients and survivors with a way to manage their own information.

Cancer sufferers and their carers endure frequent visits to numerous health professionals and services who are often unfamiliar with their medical history. Every time they meet a new professional or new service they must recount their treatment history, symptoms and information, causing a great deal of added stress to often daunting situations.

The iCANcer app was developed by Naomi Bartley, a cancer survivor herself, to help patients with managing their condition by housing all the information about their treatment and side effects on one secure platform. The app allows users the ability to keep track of drugs, record side effects, lab results, appointments and radiation schedules.

Patients are also empowered with the ability to share whatever part of their information they want or need to with health care providers via email. It’s function as a calendar and monitoring tool means it gives health professionals accurate timely information that can assist in treating patients more effectively, not to mention safely.

The creator of the app Naomi Bartley‘s story is harrowing, she survived acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in childhood and was then diagnosed 17 years later with cancer resulting from the high doses of chemotherapy and radiation treatment she received from the age of 7. Bartley has also suffered through additional health issues as a result of the treatment she received as a child, including chronic cardiac problems, cataracts and sterility.

This app not only helps people manage the logistics of their treatment and schedule but also contributes to reporting the effects of the treatment used to make these people well. Bartley’s second cancer and additional conditions, developed as a result of the early treatment, is due in part to a lack of documentation and adequate tracking of the side effects of treatments. Research has not been able to keep up with the negative impacts of these treatments from years gone by because of insufficient information sharing amongst health services and professionals. Naomi Bartley is attempting to give the power of information back to patients and survivors.

 

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