Achieving value in mobile health applications for cancer survivors
- 538 Downloads
This study aimed to identify appropriate development and testing strategies for mobile health applications for cancer survivors.
In January of 2016, we conducted a PubMed search for mobile applications for cancer survivors. A total of 32 articles were selected for inclusion, including 13 review articles, and 19 articles describing an mHealth application or intervention. We assessed mobile app development and testing strategies and standards as described in these articles.
We identified seven elements of patient empowerment applications for cancer survivors, strategies for application development that take advantage of smartphone capabilities, issues for consideration in developing new applications, and steps for creating user-centered mobile health applications that provide meaningful value for cancer survivors. However, few mobile health apps implemented empowerment elements, underwent rigorous design approaches, or included assessment of use in the cancer survivor population.
There is tremendous potential for mobile health apps to benefit cancer survivors. However, there are specific issues for consideration in developing new applications and steps for creating user-centered applications which are not routinely used. This diminishes the value for the cancer survivor population but could be easily addressed through standardized development and testing procedures.
Implications for cancer survivors
Smartphone applications have the potential to improve the cancer survivorship experience, but users should look for evidence that the application was appropriately developed and tested.
KeywordsDigital technologies Cancer survivorship Review Development Testing
A portion of Dr. Oakley-Girvan’s time was supported by the Stanford Cancer Institute. No other funding was obtained for this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
The findings and conclusion in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Dr. Oakley-Girvan has stock ownership and provides consulting services for Medable Inc. on unrelated projects.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
- 1.Institute of Medicine. Delivering high quality cancer care: charting a new course for a system in crisis: Institute of Medicine. 2013.Google Scholar
- 2.ACS. Cancer facts and figures 2015. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2015.Google Scholar
- 4.Weaver KE, Foraker RE, Alfano CM, Rowland JH, Arora NK, Bellizzi KM, et al. Cardiovascular risk factors among long-term survivors of breast, prostate, colorectal, and gynecologic cancers: a gap in survivorship care? J Cancer Surviv. 2013;7(2):253–61. doi: 10.1007/s11764-013-0267-9.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 8.Hewitt M, Greenfield S, Stoval E. From cancer patient to cancer survivor: lost in transition. Washington: National Academies Press; 2006.Google Scholar
- 9.Hoerger M, Epstein RM, Winters PC, Fiscella K, Duberstein PR, Gramling R, et al. Values and options in cancer care (VOICE): study design and rationale for a patient-centered communication and decision-making intervention for physicians, patients with advanced cancer, and their caregivers. BMC Cancer. 2013;13:188. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-13-188.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 10.Kent EE, Arora NK, Rowland JH, Bellizzi KM, Forsythe LP, Hamilton AS, et al. Health information needs and health-related quality of life in a diverse population of long-term cancer survivors. Patient Educ Couns. 2012;89(2):345–52. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.08.014.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 19.Anderson M. Technology device ownership: 2015: pew research center. 2015.Google Scholar
- 20.Duggan M, Smith A. Cell internet use 2013: pew research center. 2013.Google Scholar
- 21.Fox Sa, Maeve D. The diagnosis difference: pew research center. 2013.Google Scholar
- 22.Smith A, McGeeney K, Duggan M, Rainie L, Keeter S. US Smart Phone Use in 2015 Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. 2015.Google Scholar
- 23.Smith A. A portrait of smart phone ownership: Pew Research Center. 2015.Google Scholar
- 31.Maguire R, Ream E, Richardson A, Connaghan J, Johnston B, Kotronoulas G, et al. Development of a novel remote patient monitoring system: the advanced symptom management system for radiotherapy to improve the symptom experience of patients with lung cancer receiving radiotherapy. Cancer Nurs. 2015;38(2):E37–47. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000150.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 33.McCann L, Maguire R, Miller M, Kearney N. Patients’ perceptions and experiences of using a mobile phone-based advanced symptom management system (ASyMS) to monitor and manage chemotherapy related toxicity. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2009;18(2):156–64. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2008.00938.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 34.Kearney N, McCann L, Norrie J, Taylor L, Gray P, McGee-Lennon M, et al. Evaluation of a mobile phone-based, advanced symptom management system (ASyMS) in the management of chemotherapy-related toxicity. Support Care Cancer. 2009;17(4):437–44. doi: 10.1007/s00520-008-0515-0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 36.Min YH, Lee JW, Shin YW, Jo MW, Sohn G, Lee JH, et al. Daily collection of self-reporting sleep disturbance data via a smartphone app in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: a feasibility study. J Med Internet Res. 2014;16(5):e135. doi: 10.2196/jmir.3421.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 37.Breen S, Ritchie D, Schofield P, Hsueh YS, Gough K, Santamaria N, et al. The patient remote intervention and symptom management system (PRISMS)–a telehealth- mediated intervention enabling real-time monitoring of chemotherapy side-effects in patients with haematological malignancies: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2015;16:472. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-0970-0.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 47.Agboola S, Flanagan C, Searl M, Elfiky A, Kvedar J, Jethwani K. Improving outcomes in cancer patients on oral anti-cancer medications using a novel mobile phone-based intervention: study design of a randomized controlled trial. JMIR Res Protoc. 2014;3(4):e79. doi: 10.2196/resprot.4041.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 55.Bender JL, Yue RY, To MJ, Deacken L, Jadad AR. A lot of action, but not in the right direction: systematic review and content analysis of smartphone applications for the prevention, detection, and management of cancer. J Med Internet Res. 2013;15(12):e287. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2661.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 62.Heimendinger J, O'Neill C, Marcus AC, Wolfe P, Julesburg K, Morra M, et al. Multiple tailored messages are effective in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among callers to the cancer information service. J Health Commun. 2005;10(Suppl 1):65–82. doi: 10.1080/10810730500263646.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 63.Marcus AC, Mason M, Wolfe P, Rimer BK, Lipkus I, Strecher V, et al. The efficacy of tailored print materials in promoting colorectal cancer screening: results from a randomized trial involving callers to the National Cancer Institute’s cancer information service. J Health Commun. 2005;10(Suppl 1):83–104. doi: 10.1080/10810730500257754.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 64.Strecher VJ, Marcus A, Bishop K, Fleisher L, Stengle W, Levinson A, et al. A randomized controlled trial of multiple tailored messages for smoking cessation among callers to the cancer information service. J Health Commun. 2005;10(Suppl 1):105–18. doi: 10.1080/10810730500263810.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 65.Singh KBD, Drouin K, Newmark LP, Rozenblum R, Lee J, Landman A, et al. Developing a framework for evaluating the patient engagement, quality, and safety of mobile health applications: The Commonwealth Fund. Contract No.: 1863. 2016.Google Scholar