Thomas Jefferson University has launched a medical app to help gain insights into the types of symptoms experienced by patients undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. Called Strength Through Insight, the medical app enables patients to participate in a research study by the same name. The investigators’ goal is to better understand the variations in patients’ symptoms as they progress through the treatment process. Participants need to be between 18 and 80 years of age and undergoing treatment for the malignancy.
The medical app developers explain that “Men recovering from prostate cancer treatment can have a range of symptoms that vary in severity from day to day. These symptoms affect quality of life and make managing recovery difficult. We would like to understand the causes of these symptom variations. Using Strength Through Insight, you will fill out weekly questionnaires about your health and symptoms. Ultimately, our goal is to learn with you how to improve quality of life after prostate cancer treatment.” The research program is being conducted by the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health.
In order to use Strength Through Insight, study participants need to have an access code. They can then login to the medical app, create an account, sign off on a consent agreement, and answer questions once a week on their smartphone. The questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete, and the surveys continue over a 3 month period. The researchers point out, however, participants have the option to fill out some or all of the questionnaires over the 3 months.
Although the Strength Through Insight isn’t an Apple ResearchKit study — the medical app is another example of researchers leveraging mobile devices to gather data on study participants. A recent example of this was the partnership between AstraZeneca and Voluntis. The partnership produced the eCO study app, a medical app that helps collect side effect data of patients undergoing ovarian cancer therapy.
Strength Through Insight