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Helping Cancer Patients Track Symptoms & Cope With Side Effects


Karmanos Cancer Institute


Mobile, Healthcare, and UX/UI

What is MyPatientPal?

CrossComm worked with the Karmanos Cancer Institute to build MyPatientPal—a mobile app with Apple HealthKit integration, allowing patients to manage medication, track symptoms, and share results with healthcare providers.

Free Resource

How Mobile Apps Can Assist Cancer Care and Research

The Challenge

Dr. Felicity Harper of the Karmanos Cancer Institute set out to build a mobile app to help cancer patients better cope with and improve side effects related to treatment, while also equipping them to more effectively share their symptoms with healthcare providers. By putting the app in the hands of patients, Dr. Harper hoped it could help the patients better understand their symptoms and become more engaged and proactive in their own care.

Our Approach

A Multi-Disciplinary Partnership

CrossComm offered technological expertise that supplemented the clinical and research knowledge of Dr. Harper and her team, advising them on how to best adapt their idea for a mobile app in order to maximize the user experience and overall effectiveness.

Intuitive Features and Dependable Functionality

CrossComm developed an iOS and Android app that allows patients to enter their medication and symptoms throughout the day. The app features informative charts that provide visual representations of the patient’s symptoms over time, and the relationship between those symptoms and the patient’s adherence to medication. MyPatientPal additionally provides visual charts to view comparisons between health measures, such as quality of life, and medication adherence. An updated version of the app has been integrated with Apple HealthKit, enabling additional data, like heart rate, to be collected through the Apple watch, further helping patients make connections between their symptoms and behaviors.


Bridging gaps between clinical care and at-home experiences

The MyPatientPal app is addressing the early idea and research questions of Dr. Harper and her team by successfully bridging the gap between in-house clinical care and patients’ experiences at home. The app supports researchers by providing an administrative portal that allows for management by multiple investigators. Preliminary studies show that both patients and providers have favorable opinions of the app, finding it simple to use and helpful. Some patients have even requested to continue using the app after the study. Doctors report liking the app’s ability to give them a snapshot of how a patient's symptoms progress between visits. 

Karmanos continues to work with CrossComm to customize MyPatientPal for use in the treatment of illnesses besides cancer, which expands the app’s potential impact across healthcare. To this effect, recent enhancements of the app include the ability to add health data, such as heart rate and blood pressure, so patients can track their health information and share with their healthcare providers over time. 

If you’re interested in taking the next step in your project or idea, we would love to hear from you and discuss whether CrossComm would be the right technology development team for you. Tell us more and receive a free assessment from CrossComm.

Free Resource

How Mobile Apps Can Assist Cancer Care and Research

“Don and the whole CrossComm team had things to add to my idea...I was looking for someone to partner with me in that way, to provide some expertise that I didn't have and to take what I had and make it better.”

Felicity Harper, PhD., Clinical Psychologist and Professor @ Karmanos Cancer Institute

Read the entire review on Clutch