January 1, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 1)
Strong Points: Wealth of information, great patient tools
Weak Points: None
The Cancer.Net app is a fantastic example that showcases the transformative power of smart phones and tablets to medicine and, in particular, to doctor-patient interactions. Providing oncologist-approved information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Cancer.Net app is a comprehensive resource that provides background information on 120 different types of cancer, such as an overview, a section on risk factors and prevention, and information on treatment, side effects, and current research. However, beyond simply focusing on disease-centric background information, the majority of the app takes a patient-centric approach, providing information in categories such as newly diagnosed, managing side effects, and managing the cost of cancer care. There is an entire section devoted to aspects of coping, encompassing topics such as emotional and physical matters, relationships and cancer, and survivorship. Perhaps most useful, though, are the tools within the app to track one’s medications and symptoms, as well as to record questions for the doctor (and to record the doctor’s answers).