MyPath is a mobile application that gives breast cancer patients personalized...
MyPath is a mobile application that gives breast cancer patients personalized recommendations on everything from side effects to insurance.
Source: Christopher Moore, Georgia Tech

App uses AI to guide cancer patients

Artificial Intelligence is helping to guide and support some 50 breast cancer patients in rural Georgia through a novel mobile application that gives them personalized recommendations on everything from side effects to insurance.

The app, called MyPath, adapts to each stage in a patient’s cancer journey. So the information available on the app – which runs on a tablet computer – regularly changes based on each patient’s progress. Are you scheduled for surgery? MyPath will tell you what you need to know the day before. “Patients have told us, ‘It just seemed to magically know what I needed,’” said Elizabeth Mynatt, principal investigator for the work and Distinguished Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.

Mynatt, who is also Executive Director of the Institute for People and Technology, believes that MyPath is the first healthcare app capable of personalization (through its application of AI) for holistic cancer care. In addition to incorporating a patient’s medical data, the app also addresses a variety of other relevant issues such as social and emotional needs.

How it works

MyPath begins with a mobile library of resources compiled from the American Cancer Society and other reputable organizations. Then, it is personalized with each patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan, including the dates for specific procedures. Patients also complete regular surveys that help inform the system – and caregivers – of their changing needs and symptoms.

The result is a system that provides each patient with resources and suggestions specific to their personal situation. Because MyPath knows, for example, that you have stage 2 breast cancer and will be undergoing a lumpectomy on a specific date, when you click on the category “Preparing for Surgery” it will suggest relevant articles to prepare you for what’s ahead. Have you reported nausea in the system’s survey? MyPath will bring your attention to resources that can help combat the side effect. The system also provides quick access to contact information for specific caregivers.

Other apps – and the Internet – aren’t personalized. That means slogging through a great deal of often technical information that’s not relevant to your situation. In contrast, “Every day MyPath puts the right resources at your fingertips to help you through your cancer journey,” Mynatt said.

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