Mobile App Helps Patients Navigate a Lung Cancer Diagnosis at the Touch of a Button
A new mobile app is making it easier for patients, survivors, caregivers and care providers to track symptoms, manage medications and communicate with one another — all in one place. The Lung Cancer Navigator, created by the LUNGevity Foundation, is an easy-to-use tool with many features that are customized to the individual using it.
“A patient with a lot of information is an empowered patient and can make better health care decisions,” said Linda Wenger, senior vice president of marketing and communications for LUNGevity. “We keep hearing at our survivorship conferences and when we speak to patients that they are not getting a lot of personalized information about their specific diagnosis — there seems to be a real need.”
Members of LUNGevity, along with its advisory board, patients and caregivers worked together to get an idea of what would be useful to them in an app. Features available for patients include alerts related to upcoming appointments, notifications on when medications need to be taken, articles and information based on a patient’s lung cancer diagnosis, ways to collaborate with a personalized caregiver team and a place to record important details — symptoms or questions — to share with doctors and nurses.
Caregivers and care providers can play active roles in treatment and survivorship because they have the ability to view this information. They can help set up appointments, look at a patient’s notes and questions and talk with a patient or any other patient team members at any time.
“You can take all of the people in your support network and invite them in to be part of your team, even your oncology nurse or patient navigator, and you can share information across all of these support people,” said Wenger.
“People are very overwhelmed when they are diagnosed with cancer. Lung cancer has its own challenges because it’s not a disease that people talk about to the same extent that they do others. It may be more difficult to find people to help them through the process, but this tool can connect them to that community.”
Those who are interested in the Lung Cancer Navigator can download the app for free from the Apple App store and Google Play.
For those who don’t have access to the mobile technology, they can receive similar help by calling the LUNGevity help hotline at 844-360-LUNG (5864). The hotline is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Trained oncology socials workers are staffed to answer the calls and answer questions that are specific to patients with lung cancer. In addition to providing the patients with information, they also can direct them to other resources regarding areas such as finance, insurance or how to get transportation.
“This whole improved communication is hopefully going to help patients have better outcomes,” said Wenger.