REBECCA: A Revolutionary App for Personalised Breast Cancer Treatment and Management
Breast cancer patients often face numerous challenges throughout their treatment journey and can feel overwhelmed. It is an emotional roller coaster, filled with medical appointments and endless treatments. In recent years, the development of various mobile applications has aimed to support breast cancer patients through their difficult journey. These apps have sought to provide a range of features, from tracking symptoms and medication schedules to offering emotional support and connecting patients with a supportive community. However, it can be challenging to distinguish what sets these apps apart and what they offer. In this article, we will explore some of the existing breast cancer apps and shed light on the innovative and comprehensive features offered by the REBECCA apps. Developed with a deep understanding of the unique needs and challenges faced by breast cancer patients, the REBECCA apps aim to provide a holistic and personalised solution throughout the entire cancer journey. Carry on reading to learn more about other existing cancer apps and explore why our REBECCA apps are unique.
One such app for breast cancer patients is “The Cancer Coach” which is supporting, among others, individuals, cancer treatment providers, insurers, and workplace wellness providers. It is designed in a way that helps patients to take control over their cancer treatment from the moment of diagnosis, during treatment, till recovery. For example, it offers a “12-week-Survivorship” program to help cancer survivors to adjust their lifestyles to a healthier future. Furthermore, the “Tree of Life Anti-Cancer Lifestyle Community” and “Coaching Programme” consist of a series of on-demand modules with resources, activities, and online communities. Therefore, the app creates personalised health coaching programmes and gives the patient access to a team he or she can be in touch with to seek help and advice – the team includes doctors, nutritional therapists and dietitians, psychologists, and health coaches.
Another app is “Care Zone,” an organisational app that assists patients in various ways, such as remembering treatments, planning care notes, summarising drug administration protocols, delivering medication, and reminding them of doctor’s visits. It also makes treatment easier by allowing users to take and save pictures of medications, prescriptions, and supplements. Moreover, the app includes a journaling feature for tracking appointments and taking notes to discuss with doctors.
The ”Breast Cancer Healthline” (BCH) is intended for individuals who are dealing with breast cancer, regardless of the stage of their illness. The app provides various features, including daily group discussions moderated by a BCH guide. These discussions focus on a range of topics related to breast cancer, such as treatment options, lifestyle changes, career-related issues, and managing relationships.
All these aforementioned apps, along with many others that exist in this domain, are valuable to support breast cancer patients in different ways. Nonetheless, the REBECCA apps go beyond providing simple support. They stand out in their ability to collect patient-reported and objectively collected data via sensors to develop personalised treatment plans. Unlike other apps that focus on health coaching or organisation, the REBECCA Patient app records patient behaviour and offers a simple way to report symptoms and emotional experiences, such as fatigue, pain, memory and concentration loss, depression, and anxiety.
Additionally, the specially designed REBECCA Companion app allows family and friends to contribute to the monitoring process by sharing data about the patient’s physical and emotional state. This alleviates some of the reporting responsibilities from the patient and allows their loved ones to serve as co-reporters.
The Patient and Companion apps serve as the primary means of interaction between patients, their families, and the REBECCA platform which is a combination of unobtrusive mobile and wearable applications. The apps offer various features, including self-reporting via short in-app questionnaires, reports by companions, and the ability to upload photographs from daily life, such as meals and environment stressors. For continuous and unobtrusive monitoring, the Patient app monitors the patient’s physiological status via Garmin® smartwatches and smart bands and uses the smartphone’s location signal to create a profile of her mobility status. Patients can view recorded data overviews and profile summaries in the Patient app, which can aid in tracking their progress.
These features make the REBECCA apps an exceptional and invaluable tool for both patients and healthcare professionals. They offer critical support and guidance for patients and their loved ones throughout the entire cancer journey, helping them stay informed, track progress, and manage symptoms and emotional experiences. In a world where breast cancer patients encounter many challenges, the emergence of the REBECCA apps brings hope and support to these people. With our apps, we want to make sure to alleviate the lives of the patients and make them feel heard and understood during their cancer journey.