Patient Perspectives: Apps Galore but are they User-Friendly?

Patient Perspectives: Apps Galore but are they User Friendly?

Many cancer patients now depend on smartphone apps to access more information about potentially life-saving clinical trials. One such app is MBC Connect, created by the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance—serving researchers and doctors as it offers de-identified data about those who have registered while offering patients insights and important information. Its new clinical trial search capability shows true promise, according to author and metastatic breast cancer patient Martha Carlson. Why? They are patient-focused.

As it turns out, the author, Ms. Carlson, a mother and metastatic breast cancer patient, didn’t use cell phones until she was diagnosed and accepted one to help track information. She reports that many websites and apps for cancer patients are not user-friendly at all—such as But with the new MBC Connect clinical trial app, one fills out a survey, and then a matching engine goes to work; on the matches page of the app, the individual can filter what they are looking for in a streamlined process of narrowing down the results even more.  

Important Patient Perspective

Although Ms. Carlson reported in Cure Today that she is not looking for a change in treatment, she is always looking for non-treatment quality of life studies for those with metastatic cancer, and she reports that thee can be found in this app. She reports that the “Additional Trials” button was promising as she can see current research interests and finds reassurance that there are other available lines of treatment for metastatic cancer.

Technology Advances Must Keep the Patient At the Center

Ms. Carlson’s words of wisdom ring true: “Technological advances can sometimes feel like patients’ actual needs are way at the bottom in importance. The products may be about us, but they are not for us. So when I find an app or a magazine or a suggestion that makes my life with metastatic breast cancer easier, I am all for it.”


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