Fourteen million Americans. 32.5 million people worldwide. Patients and survivors of cancer – as well as caregivers, whose load is often unrecognized – face myriad challenges beyond directly battling the disease. The cost of treatment drives some close to financial ruin; the emotional toll of fighting cancer can be overwhelming; and globally, cancer patients are afflicted by an abundance of misinformation about the nature of the disease.
In recent years technology has emerged as an enabling tool for all societies’ needs: from ordering groceries to your door and tracking fitness levels, to solving global development challenges and managing complex health conditions. But out of 40,000 health care apps that have emerged to help patients manage an array of medical conditions, less than four percent are geared towards cancer, the world’s leading cause of death.
“We believe it’s an awareness problem,” says Katherine McLane, Vice President of Communications and External Affairs at the LIVESTRONGFoundation. “We tend to put all of our stock in medical advancement, but we exclude the brilliant entrepreneurs and innovators who might provide the best breakthroughs.”