Chemotherapy

ChemoExplore: Health Information Portal for Patients undergoing Chemotherapy

Research Project

Agencies

Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre (Austin Health)

Description

The investigation focussed upon the need for improved health information for patients presenting to Chemotherapy. An app prototype (a chemotherapy App titled ChemoExplore) was developed as a ‘cultural research probe’ to question the assumptions that underlay the way health information knowledge development in patients was being conceived; both in terms of the content privileged and the way the health information session was conducted. Used initially with nursing staff the app validated the need for a longer-term evidence gathering project addressing the information needs of diverse gender, ethnic and age groups. The app and the resource site of video journals of cancer survivors is publicly available. This work has been shared with Cancer researchers and Clinicians at a Lung Cancer Community of Practice forum (6 December 2016, Melbourne).

                                

In contemporary health care service provision smart phone based health care solutions are considered a significant new addition to the way patient involvement can be imagined and constructed within the overall service provision ecology. Also referred to as MHealth this form of health service provision has in recent years seen a huge expansion of solutions especially in the availability of third party apps for smart phones. The overall categorisation of the typology of these apps comprises three key stakeholder domains that of; the acute care facility (Hospital), the clinical and the patient (consumer). Or in short apps for hospitals, for doctors and for patients. Consumer health and fitness apps have seen a huge expansion on maintenance of fit and healthy people. Crucially apps targeted at patients, currently undergoing treatment or in post-operative recovery, are rare and often have a didactic clinical and medicalised approach. There thus exists a gap in the availability of “niche” apps focussed upon supporting and aiding patients on their journeys to recovery.

By rapidly developing freely downloadable and publicly available apps ( as probes) for use by clinicians, nurses, hospital administrators and researchers these two projects have demonstrated a methodology of: One, a multi stage linear program of innovation and design development; two, research from need identification, to rapid prototype to a setting up of a funded-research-program to gather evidence and improve the solution; three, to build into this continuum the eventual commercialisation of App solutions for worldwide adoption.

Status

Ongoing: To be developed as a CoDesign Embedded Project.