Apple Unveils Breast Cancer Research App

Posted on 10 March 2015

Apple unveiled a first-of-its-kind app designed to empower breast cancer survivors and fighters to join the research process as a way to “Share the Journey.”

The app, Share the Journey: Mind, Body and Wellness after Breast Cancer, is part of Apple’s new ResearchKit, a digital toolbox to help hospitals and research centers bring iPhone users into the world of data collection.

“By collecting all this data through the smart phones I’m imagining that there are going to have so much great information to analyze that maybe we can get the drugs going even faster,” said two-time cancer survivor Janet Klein.

She has been part of a clinical trial for six years, and said she could use the app to more easily share her experiences with doctors.

The app will track five common experiences during breast cancer treatment: fatigue, cognitive difficulties, sleep disturbances, mood changes and a reduction in exercise performance.

Klein said she’s seen the treatment developments come leaps and bounds in recent years, and that she believes this will help it get even better.

“Today stage four is something you can live with it doesn’t have to be a death sentence,” she said.

She noted how markedly different the options were for her than for her mother years before.

“We’re excited to use these new ResearchKit tools to expand participant recruitment and quickly gather even more data through the simple use of an app.” UCLA researcher Dr. Patricia Ganz said. “The data it will provide takes us one step closer to developing more personalized care.”

Apple joined the UCLA School of Public Health, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Penn Medicine and Sage Bionetworks to create Share the Journey.

Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, said Monday the company is working with researchers to develop apps for studies including diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease.

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