OWise: the innovative breast cancer app offering a helping hand to patients throughout their treatment
OWise breast cancer, the first mobile app to offer patients personalised medical support throughout their treatment, launches in the UK.
OWise is the first healthcare app to provide personalised medical information and tracking tools to support breast cancer patients with information throughout their treatment. The app enables patients to record their treatment experiences, side effects and overall quality of life as well as offering a range of other helpful features. For example, changes in the level of pain, sickness and fatigue can be easily captured and shared using OWise.
Clinicians can use the data which patients recorded in the app to inform decision-making about treatment options, supporting a personalised treatment approach. Originally launched in the Netherlands in 2013, users of OWise have reported an increased feeling of control over their life whilst undergoing treatment; healthcare professionals noted that the patient-doctor dialogue improved. Following this success, the app’s inventor, Dr Anne Bruinvels, was awarded a Fellowship by the NHS Innovation Accelerator to support the roll out of the breast cancer app across the NHS.
OWise breast cancer has been developed in collaboration with patients to provide the most valuable support possible from the moment of diagnosis. It is supported by the NHS Innovation Accelerator, which aims to make new ideas and technologies more readily available to patients.
Jolijn, an OWise user who has advanced breast cancer, said: “When I received the diagnosis of breast cancer my world was turned upside down. In addition to treatment plans, examinations and results there was so much anguish and sadness. OWise creates order in this chaos and keeps it that way. It is truly a fantastic support!”
Dr Samantha Barrell, Chief Executive of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This mobile app really supports patients positively through the physical and emotional challenges of having breast cancer. It is also a tremendous tool for supporting the relationship between a patient and their clinician during their treatment as well as for breast cancer services as a whole.”
To mark the launch of OWise breast cancer in the UK, the app is introduced to breast cancer specialists at the Pan-London Clinical Breast Cancer Forum, organised by the London Cancer Alliance.
OWise breast cancer can be downloaded online or from iTunes and the Google Play Store.
OWise has been developed by medical scientists to support patients and their physicians during the treatment process; it aims to ‘empower the patient’. By using the mobile app or website, patients can receive personalised treatment information and tailor-made question suggestions to prepare for conversations with their doctors. Patients can register how they feel at different stages of their treatment, this can help physicians understand how a patient is responding to certain medications. Different symptoms, such as patients’ fatigue, nausea and pain can be tracked and viewed in graph-format which enables easy sharing with their treating physician or nurse. This allows patients to get a better insight into the effects of medicines on their well-being, while clinicians can obtain detailed information about the condition of their patients in between hospital visits. This enables doctors to adjust the treatment if and when necessary.
The development of OWise breast cancer was initiated by medical researcher and NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow Dr Anne Bruinvels. The initiative is based on her desire to improve the outcomes of breast cancer treatment, while supporting patients during their medical treatment. In addition to the support that OWise provides to patients and doctors, the fully anonymised and aggregated user data is used for medical research to improve the outcome of treatments for breast cancer in general. This way, global digital health applications like OWise can make an important impact on healthcare worldwide.