New App Helps Breast Cancer Patients Thrive

Breast cancer patients receive a lot of information, and it can be overwhelming. Breast Cancer Program Director Vered Stearns says that was the inspiration for a new patient app, funded by Under Armour, that puts just about anything breast cancer patients need or want to know in the palm of their hands.

With a smartphone, patients will soon be able to download the secure and password-protected mobile application called Thrive that guides and educates breast cancer patients throughout diagnosis, treatment and beyond.

Patients will no longer need to rely on memory or quickly written notes they jot down during their appointments. Now, there is an app for that.

Thrive provides a detailed list of appointments, including how to get to Johns Hopkins; detailed information on the diagnosis, including type of breast cancer, stage of cancer, size of tumor, hormone status, HER2 status, genetic factors (such as BRCA negative or positive) and goals of therapy; and a detailed description of therapy, including all of the drugs a patient will receive and how long they will take each one. There is a place to enter notes about topics patients want to ask the doctor or nurse. The app also has a “learn” section that addresses common concerns and defines all of the medical jargon.

The app developers involved breast cancer patients, doctors, nurses and patient navigators throughout the design process and prototype testing. The only thing a breast cancer patient won’t find in this app is pink. When patients were surveyed, they requested any color but pink, opting instead for a calming green. The patients also chose the app’s name.

Thrive was developed by emocha Mobile Health and is expected to be available to patients in six to 12 months.