My nephew has special needs. This past Christmas, I bought him an iTunes gift card so he could buy some apps for his iPad. My sister, who denies technical knowledge of “those kinds of things,” claimed she didn’t know anything about apps, even though she’s on Facebook as often as I’m on Twitter (see April 19 blog article). I was left with no choice but to take things into my own hands.
At the 2012 Innovate conference, I decided to attend “There’s an App for That: Utilizing iPads to Deliver Behavioral Interventions to Children with Autsim Spectrum Disorders”. I was interested in learning about apps that my nephew might benefit from, and about apps applicable to the adult population with breast cancer (or chronic illness). It turns out, there are quite a lot!
An application by Track and Share Apps, called “Autism Tracker Pro” provides nifty ways to learn about the different domains of autism through the child’s behaviors. Each window of the app tracks a specific domain, such as mood, behavior, food, health, etc.
This could be completely adapted for a patient with breast cancer!
Imagine if we had an app for our patients at The Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center that could be connected to OSUMyChart. The app could be used to address a variety of obstacles faced by patients. Here are a few of my initial thoughts on things that would be helpful to track:
- Mood (the spectrum of distress)
- Diet (weight gain is common for patients with breast cancer)
- Exercise (patients who exercise have better outcomes)
- Health (sleep, fatigue, and arm circumference)
- Adherence (oral, chemo, and endocrine therapies are not fun)
Patients who use the app could have their information fed into their medical record, allowing Registered Nurses, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Physicians, Physical Therapists, and PsychoOncology Providers the ability to monitor and assist patients in real time. Patients could also receive helpful reminders, and instructions from their care providers, whom they usually only see ever few months, .
This might deserve a grant! Oh, Rob Griffiths! Can we chat?
Amy Rettig is a Clinical Nurse Specialist working with the Breast Cancer Continuum at The Ohio State University. She is interested in utilizing technology in the education of staff and patients.