There are hundreds of thousands of apps catering for cancer patients today. But do any of them address all the key needs and issues affecting young people with cancer?

YCE hosted a pitch competition and looked at some mobile solutions on the market, discussing what today’s patients look for and need in a mobile app.

“Cancer-related apps are important because we are a tech-savvy generation and we basically keep track of everything with our phones nowadays. Ideally, I would like to see an app with a treatment map. If I could have kept track of when my chemos were or when my radiotherapy or surgery was going to be.” Ghislaine Bogers, cancer patient, BE

“We want it to be interactive, we need push notifications on our phones, we need to stay up to date, it needs to be fast. What I look for in an app as a patient, is mostly peer to peer support, finding others that are in a similar situation.” Sophia Sleeman, cancer patient, NL

“Peer support is the most important, that you can find a person to talk with, who can help you through the system and what you are going trough. Because to get cancer is a new life. Everything is changed.” Roy Alexander, cancer patient, NO

Cancer patients require scientifically proven cancer-related health information also addressing nutrition, exercise and managing co-morbidities. More collaboration between patients, medical professionals and software developers is necessary. Victor Girbu, cancer patient from Romania says:

“Cancer patients really need a source they can trust and take their information from. I hope, together with our expertise, with our feedback, we’ll be able to get also our communities at home to improve the apps and come back with better information, better expertise and, why not, a better application.”

All in all young people with cancer want mobile solutions to be user-friendly, to have an attractive interface, easy to integrate with other apps and to be available in several platforms.

Patients today not only want access to their own data (which many times is still stuck in hospitals, is not in electronic format or simply not accessible) but they want to own it, use it and generate their own research. The game-changer for future research and drug development is patient-led registries and patient-driven research.

A big thank-you goes out to our sponsors for making this event possible: