The app helps doctors make the best decisions for treatment.
The app helps doctors make the best decisions for treatment.
Source: Universitat Politècnica de València

App monitors cancer patients' quality of life

A team from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) has developed a new mobile application that facilitates the continuous monitoring of the quality of life of cancer patients.

The app, called Lalaby, allows the patients' day-to-day life to be monitored from the information collected by sensors located in their mobile phone and other sources stored therein, which facilitate calculating their physical activity (movement), social interaction (voice frequencies) and web activity (amount of data used).

In addition, Lalaby can incorporate questionnaires, such as EORTC QLQ-C30 (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer—QLQ-C30), which are widely used to assess the quality of life. It also allows the patient to directly record the activities they perform (household chores, personal hygiene, watching TV...), their symptoms (vomiting, shortness of breath, tiredness...) and their level of pain.

"In addition, to guide patients in their interaction with the app, Lalaby includes a notification system that reminds them what information they should report at a given time, and directs them with a click to the screen that they must use for that purpose," adds Ángel Sánchez García, a researcher from the BDSLab group at the Universitat Politècnica de València's ITACA Institute of Information and Communication Technologies.

From all this information, Lalaby can deduce user behavior patterns and relate them to quality of life indicators. "Such patterns can be of great help, for example, to monitor possible changes in the mood, activity, symptoms, etc. of people starting cancer treatment, thus providing doctors with information that can be most valuable in helping them make the best decisions possible for the patients' day-to-day life," explains Juan Miguel García-Gómez, the director of the BDSLab group.

Among the most remarkable aspects of the Lalaby app, besides the fact that it incorporates and registers all the patient information so that doctors can consult it on the app dashboard, are its user-centered graphic design and its intuitive nature. These "make this app much easier for patients to use and accept," points out Sabina Asensio-Cuesta, a researcher at the BDSLab group.

The Lalaby app's graphic design is the result of a competition, to which students from UPV's School of Design Engineering submitted 44 proposals. It was this competition that gave the app its name and provided the germ of its graphic design.

For the validation of the Lalaby app, the UPV team has had the advice and collaboration of Inmaculada Maestu, Head of the Medical Oncology Service of the Dr. Peset Hospital (València); Maria Martín, from the same hospital; and Teresa Soria, an oncologist. It is precisely with patients from this hospital—specifically, lung cancer patients—that the first trials for the validation and improvement of the app are being carried out.

Among the advantages of continuous monitoring, the team from the UPV and the Dr. Peset Hospital points out that it facilitates observing the evolution of patients during the course of active cancer treatment, when it is crucial to make decisions aimed at maintaining their functionality and quality of life.

Dr. Inmaculada Maestu draws attention to the fact that "the Lalaby app allows us to have more information regarding the patient's symptoms, both those related to the disease itself and those derived from the treatments applied. This facilitates controlling the disease, and can help us make therapeutic decisions. It also helps patients maintain better communication with the medical team, as it enables them to express their state of health in real-time. In this way, their quality of life can be improved by taking action at the right moment.

In addition to oncology patients, Lalaby can also be adapted to study the quality of life of people with migraine or chronic COVID-19 symptoms, among other pathologies.

"The app makes it possible to correlate the data stored by mobile phones with questionnaires used to evaluate these and other chronic diseases, hence its potential," concludes Sabina Asensio-Cuesta.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related articles

Smart bandage shows promise for wound management

Smart bandage shows promise for wound management

Wearable sensor detects multiple chronic wound biomarkers to facilitate timely and personalised wound care.

Sense Glucose Earring for managing diabetes

Sense Glucose Earring for managing diabetes

A product design graduate has developed a discreet item of wearable technology that monitors blood sugar levels and delivers feedback in real-time.

Patches detect when a viral disease is getting worse

Patches detect when a viral disease is getting worse

Xsensio has been awarded CHF 1.8 million in EU funding to adapt its Lab-on-Skin sensing patches so that they can detect when a viral illness like the flu or COVID-19 is about to get worse.

Smartwatch turns into biochemical monitoring system

Smartwatch turns into biochemical monitoring system

Engineers have designed a thin adhesive film that could upgrade a consumer smartwatch into a powerful health monitoring system.

App detects side effect of breast cancer treatment

App detects side effect of breast cancer treatment

Commercially available app-based technology now makes early detection of lymphedema easier, allowing for proactive treatment.

mhealth: blood pressure monitoring as easy as taking a selfie

mhealth: blood pressure monitoring as easy as taking a selfie

Transdermal optical imaging measures blood pressure by detecting blood flow changes in smartphone-captured facial videos.

‘Prescribed’ app offers hope to young people who self-harm

‘Prescribed’ app offers hope to young people who self-harm

New research suggests that the 'BlueIce' app developed at University of Bath could have a significant impact in reducing self-harm in young people.

Blood and sweat take training app to the next level

Blood and sweat take training app to the next level

Researchers have have developed a multifaceted measuring technology that is able to detect a number of conditions in the human body.

Artificial pancreas trialed for outpatients with type 2 diabetes

Artificial pancreas trialed for outpatients with type 2 diabetes

Tests show that the device can help patients safely and effectively manage their blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of low blood sugar levels.

Popular articles

Subscribe to Newsletter