How a digital solution is enabling patients to feel in control of their treatment and transforming cancer care
SPONSORED BY Careology
Navigating cancer through the fog of treatment, side-effects, complex medication regimes and personal upheaval can be as challenging as the physical storm created by the condition itself.
Patients struggle with adhering to daily drugs, managing side-effects and staying in touch with medical appointments, often plunging their health into further danger.
But a new brand of “thoughtful technology” is supporting patients and their families through the complexities of diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
Careology, an app that can work with NHS and private healthcare services, is pioneering digital cancer care that puts users in control and gives them confidence at one of the most vulnerable periods of their lives.
It is designed to improve health outcomes for patients by helping keep on top of the complexity of life with cancer. For medical professionals, Careology enables scalable, virtual outpatient care and creates better-informed consultations. The combination of patient self-management and proactive intervention could improve safety, reduce costs and free up clinical capacity.
The platform, which integrates with popular health-tracking devices, was devised by Paul Landau, an experienced technology entrepreneur when his wife Lucy, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
“I watched Lucy go through gruelling treatment and was shocked by how little technology was available to support people going through such a complex diagnosis,” says Landau, the founder of wearable technology business Fitbug.
“Cancer is daunting both physically and mentally, from the trauma of diagnosis to all the things that need managing effectively. I saw the opportunity for consumerised technology to make living with cancer less complicated.”
Life becomes dominated by remembering medications, managing side-effects and keeping on top of consultations. Often without wanting to be, or to feel like, a nuisance, it can be hard for people to gauge when to contact the hospital for help.
Careology’s intuitive design enables people to improve self-management and log the cumulative effects of treatment. From monitoring vital signs, to mood, symptoms and side-effects, Careology ensures these key pieces of information, often forgotten between consultations, are now available to clinicians.
Careology can highlight potential problems, such as a temperature spike that could indicate an infection, before they become critical, ultimately reducing clinical risk and leading to better outcomes for patients.
The app provides reminders to help minimise the risk of missing medication, improving adherence rates.
“This is incredibly important, as many patients experience ‘chemo brain’ where it is difficult to remember things, so anything that helps effectively stay on top of medication is vital to their health,” says Landau.
The need for this technology has been emphasised by coronavirus, which has restricted contact with individuals’ usual support networks and reduced face-to-face hospital appointments.
The NHS is investing in tech to improve cancer treatments and outcomes, to meet an ambition that by 2028 an extra 55,000 people each year will survive for five years or more following diagnosis. The digital approach will be vital as the numbers of people in the UK living with cancer is forecast to rise from 2.5 million to four million by 2030, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.
The app, which can be downloaded via iOS or Android, has been developed to integrate with healthcare providers to enable medical teams to monitor previously unavailable patient data and devise effective, efficient and personalised care plans for patients. It has been recommended by Macmillan as a useful tool for people living with cancer.
“We have received very positive feedback from the patients and caregivers who are using Careology. It’s helping them feel far more secure, organised and connected during treatment. For clinicians and healthcare providers, it represents an opportunity to drive efficient and cost-effective cancer services,” says Landau.
Careology is helping patients feel far more secure, organised and connected during treatment
“Living with cancer can feel very lonely and places a huge burden on your shoulders, but Careology can give you the confidence that you are not alone. We will lift that weight and help you feel connected to your medical teams and supported by those around you.”
For more information please visit www.careology.health/care