Cancer apps

BY LENA HUANG
PUBLISHED: JANUARY 13, 2012
Last summer, the National Cancer Institute and the Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology challenged innovators to create applications that help cancer patients, survivors and healthcare professionals. The winners were recently announced and were each awarded $20,000 to develop their technology.

Although these apps are still in the early stages of development, you can test some out and see what the future may look like for technology that helps us along the cancer journey. Here are the two winners:

1. Ask Dory! was developed by Chintan Patel, PhD, and Sharib Kahn, MD, of Applied Informatics to help patients find clinical trials. It utilizes information from clinicaltrials.gov and takes you through a decision tree, or series of questions, to personalize and find the best trial for you. Dory was named after the curious fish in "Finding Nemo."

2. My Cancer Genome was developed by researchers at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center as a personalized support tool to help patients, caregivers and healthcare providers match genetic mutations to therapies, treatments and clinical trials. Developers have started with cancers that are known to have genetic links and plan to add new content as more genes and diseases are connected and as more targeted therapies emerge.

The semifinalists also had intriguing ideas. One program focuses on cancer screening and decision making, and the other plans to provide personalized strategies for reducing cancer risk. If you are interested in seeing the semifinalists, you can look here.

Congratulations to these innovators who are working to use the latest technology to make cancer more understandable and personalized!

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