The ChemoWave app feeds data from cancer patients to doctors
Matt Lashey, the developer of the app and co-founder of Treatment Technologies & Insights, came up with ChemoWave when his partner Richard Grenell was diagnosed with cancer in 2013.
Each morning, Lashey would administer Grenell a survey about how he was feeling emotionally and physically, along with any side effects. Lashey’s background in data analysis propelled him to do some correlation analysis from the surveys to track Grenell’s symptoms.
“I started doing some simple correlation analysis to see what things were related to his highs and lows, and our doctor loved (the charts),” the former research consultant for Discovery Communications and Nationwide Insurance told CNBC. “We could point to very specific days when something had occurred, and having those graphs and data really led to a lot more efficient collaboration with him.”
ChemoWave features an added benefit, according to Kueck: helping to improve communication between patient and doctor.
“I might see a patient every three weeks, and when trying to recount what happened on day two or four, it’s hard for them to remember so it does take a lot of time of the visit,” Kueck said. Using the app, she now gets daily updates.
Kueck said there haven’t been any widely used apps among her patients, and ChemoWave is fulfilling a large need among those involved in chemotherapy.
“I’m already in the loop. We can just talk about today and the future. It’s definitely streamlined the visits in the office,” she said.
ChemoWave is free to download, in order to get it as widely disseminated as possible, according to Lashey. He’s also meeting with care organizations, doctors and pharmaceutical companies to explore future partnerships and possible financing.
“There could be a lot of money to be made if we were to charge money for this app, but we decided that the real value is in the data,” Lashey said.
“The hope is that getting it into the hands of patients will start to add value to their life on an immediate basis, and that if we can stick with this and we can get the app with funding that we need, there’s going to be money to be made in the future,” he added.
Grenell is now healthy and sees his doctor regularly, while Hailey said she plans on using the app throughout her treatment.
“It does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and it provides even more information for a patient to have some control over what what’s going on with us,” she said.