E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

The role of mHealth in cancer care: Designing with the user in mind (#628)

Jay Evans 1 , Dianna Kane 1 , David Weller 2
  1. Medic Mobile, San Francisco, CA, United States
  2. University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Background and Context:

 Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) now bear the majority share of the burden of cancer, yet their health systems are not prepared (Farmer, et al).

There are now over 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide and at least 50% of the population in LMICs owns a cell phone (PEW). The field of ‘mHealth’ seeks to capitalize on this opportunity.

MHealth is already being used to improve access, adherence, and quality of care in many LMICs, and we have evidence of improvements in each of these areas..  Yet, cancer is a very different disease from TB or malaria. There is an opportunity to apply these tools and lessons along the cancer continuum, though attention needs to be focused on understanding the needs of end users if we are to successfully roll out mHealth interventions that create impact.


 Tools are available now to help us in the fight against cancer; we need to know how to apply them effectively, integrate with health systems and community networks, and solve real challenges experienced by patients, families, clinicians, and administrators.

This session will cover the importance of human-centered design (HCD) in mHealth interventions in cancer.


Present an overview of the mHealth landscape and examples of evidence-based use cases to support cancer prevention and screening, diagnosis and treatment, palliative care, and cancer control systems.

This session will cover the basics of mHealth, its relevance to cancer programs, and the importance of human-centered design (HCD).

Programme/Policy Process:

10 minute presentation

Break out informally afterward to allow participants to apply mHealth use cases to their own context. They will map out stakeholders and user requirements, creating a blueprint for their own mHealth program.

Outcomes/What was learned:Participants will have a basic working knowledge of HCD and how to apply it to mHealth designs

  1. "Expansion of Cancer Care and Control in Countries of Low and Middle Income:A Call to Action" Lancet 2010:376:1186-93, Authors: Paul Farmer, Julio Frenk, Felicia M Knaul, Lawrence N Shulman, George Alleyne, Lance Armstrong, Rifat Atun, Douglas Blayney, Lincoln Chen, Richard Feachem, Mary Gospodarowicz, Julie Gralow, Sanjay Gupta, Ana Langer, Julian Lob-Levyt, Claire Neal, Anthony Mbewu, Dina Mired, Peter Piot, K Srinath Reddy, Jeff rey D Sachs, Mahmoud Sarhan, John R Seff rin
  2. Pew Research Center,February 2014, "Emerging Nations Embrace Internet, Mobile Technology"