The communication and contact between breast cancer patient, breast care nurse and surgeon/oncologist.
Eventually this will limit unnecessary travel to hospital except where the patient is physically needed.
To improve the patient compliance to treatment.
To increase public awareness on breast cancer and increase the number of women undergoing breast screening.
Although there are mobile apps for breast cancer, "Breast Cancer Care" is a comprehensive app designed for patient management.
Breast cancer is the commonest cancer among women and the second comments cancer to affect humans. In Sri Lanka, Breast cancer patient management is not optimum. As the healthcare facilities are more centralised (in Teaching hospitals) patients have to travel long distances. The situation is made worse by the not so well developed public transport system. The "Breast Cancer Care" app was designed to address several key issues. The main idea is to improve the communication between the breast cancer patients, breast care nurse and treating surgeon/oncologist. Breast cancer patients are able to communicate with their assigned breast cancer nurse 24/24 and 7/7. If the recipient is not connected to data in their smartphone, an SMS will be set via the system alerting to log on to the app. This provides these patients a sense of been cared for and not left alone. This is important for these patients along their cancer treatment journey. The surgeon/oncologist can view the chat between nurse and the patient and can provide expert input. Surgeon/oncologist can view the breast cancer nurses and patients under their treatment and which nurse is responsible for a particular patient.
The other features are :
1. To provide a schedule of tasks for patients to complete. These will be shown in the patients "Schedule" which is updated and managed by the breast care nurse. For example, next mammogram appointment, next chemotherapy appointment. If a task is not completed by a patient an SMS alert will be sent to the assigned d breast care nurse through the app. Thus the breast care nurse can check on the patient and sort out the matters. For example, patient not attending chemotherapy due to fear of side effects. This also helps to improve patient compliance.
2. The app will send notifications on daily status of the patients following an operation, chemotherapy, radiotherapy. If the daily status is less than an acceptable level the assigned breast care nurse will be alerted via the app to check on the patient. This feature is vital as a majority of the patients will be in far villages with less facilities after been discharged from the hospital.
3. Patients can request a temporary/ permanent change of breast care nurse when changing their residence or travelling for long durations. The averrable treatment locations can be viewed via the app. The current breast care nurse will contact and arrange a new nurse accordingly. This helps increase the follow up and to provide a continued and uninterrupted care, which in-turn increase the patient compliance with treatment.
4. Patients are given an opportunity to share their own experiences during breast cancer treatment with other patients and public. New patients diagnosed with breast cancer get to know the ground reality and what to expect during their cancer treatment journey. Furthermore, we believe that this would inquire the pubic awareness on breast cancer patients and reduce the social stigma on these patients.
5. There is room to display new events related to breast cancer. For example, breast cancer patient peer group meeting, public awareness programs, charity/ fund raising events, breast cancer nurse training workshops. The this app will keep the users and beneficiaries of the app informed and updated.
6. This app also provides information/knowledge on breast cancer in a FAQ format. For example, what is breast cancer, what are the risk factors, what is breast cancer staging, what are the symptoms of breast cancer & etc. This is available in all three languages used in Sri Lanka; Sinhala, Tamil and English. We believe that this will increase the public awareness and more women will attend breast cancer screening programs. Also,there are tips on nutritional aspects as well : what should be done to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer or coming back? How can nutrition therapy help combat the side effects of treatments?
7. Finally the app will generate an online database on breast cancer patients which will act as a platform for future scientific research. However, the data cannot be extracted by persons except for the registered surgeons/ oncologists. Even then they can inly retrieve only their patients details.