Improving the lives of cancer patients with CancerAid
A cancer diagnosis can turn your world upside down, leaving you with countless unanswered question. Founded in Australia, CancerAid is designed to support anyone on their cancer journey.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is an anxious and confusing time, and patients tend to be bombarded with information - much of which they’re unlikely to register straightway. The brainchild of Dr. Raghav Murali-Ganesh and Dr Nikhil Pooviah, CancerAid is an easy to use cancer support app designed by doctors, patients and caregivers to help better organise a patient’s treatment journey.
‘Nikhil and I worked together in the radiation oncology department at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, so CancerAid was born out of our clinical experience’ explains Raghav. ‘A lot of our work was using antiquated methods for communication – basically paper and pen. It led to us considering a digital alternative, and that’s how our idea for an app came about.’
A personalised profile
Raghav (who specialises in Radiation Oncology) and Nikhil wanted to find a way to collate a personalised profile with information specific to a user’s diagnosis and treatment. The result was CancerAid, an app designed for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, are undergoing treatment or are in the survivorship phase. It can also be used by caregivers, allowing them to participate in the timeline of their loved one's treatment.
Initially, the pair were concerned about obtaining funding. ‘It can be hard to get hold of that first investment, and you need that to create a high-quality product. Luckily, we had support from those around us, and early seed funding from willing investors who really believed in our model,’ says Raghav who (alongside Nikhil) secured one of the largest deal in Shark Tank history with a $500,000 investment in CancerAid. ‘We were determined that CancerAid would be free to the patient and have a sustainable, responsible business model based on licensing the technology to hospitals.’
The app includes a range of other features, such as a diary that allows patients to keep a detailed record of their symptoms and to share the results with their doctors, and an ability to read stories from other users with the wider patient and carer communities in order to combat isolation.
Then and now
‘At the start, it was just the two of us working on this, but we now have fifteen of us across Australia and the USA!’ says Raghav. ‘We couldn’t be without our team. They’re all highly talented individuals who are working together to bring this resource to thousands of patients worldwide.’
Currently the number one cancer app in Australia, the UK and the USA, CancerAid now has 12,000 patients and caregivers from 24 countries signed up. However, Raghav and Nikhil still have big plans.
‘We want to make the technology more valuable to patients and be able to seamlessly integrate into hospital systems, which would allow us to increase the number of patients and hospital partners that use the app. We have lots of work to do!’
Cure Cancer Australia are a proud partner of CancerAid. Find out more about CancerAid and download the app here.