brain Cancer Holistic care App
Spring 2020
Convergent Science Institute in Cancer
Iovine & Young Academy: Impact Lab
Team Project
Client
USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience: Convergent Science Institute in Cancer is a leading cancer lab at USC that focuses on predicting effective individualized treatment for cancer patients.
Team
6 Iovine & Young Academy undergraduate and graduate students.

problem
The Convergent Science Institute in Cancer works to predict effective individualized treatment for cancer patients. The problem we focused on addressing in this project was the lack of information that physicians and oncologists have about a cancer patient's daily living, outside of the information they can gather from formal appointments. We also attacked the lack of control that patients have over their electronic health records (EHR).
solution
We want to provide more holistic data about a cancer patient to their physician to help care for them better.

We designed a mobile app for caregivers of patients with Glioblastoma (terminal brain cancer) to collect and document a higher quantity and quality of both, quantitative and qualitative data about their loved one's health and wellbeing. This app connects to a digital interface we designed for the physician to view an aggregate display of data drawn from the patients electronic health records and from the app — optimizing the available data to make the most of the time the physician has with the patient and provide more holistic care.
why
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. By 2040, the number of new cancer cases per year is expected to rise to 29.5 million and the number of cancer-related deaths to 16.4 million. It is evident that if physicians lack valuable information about their patients, the quality of care is less than ideal. Creating a system to bridge that gap in information can be incredibly impactful for quality of cancer treatment.

We focused on Glioblastoma, a terminal brain cancer, because its rapidly-growing, highly critical nature makes the impact of increased insight very high.
process
1.

identification of client-defined problem
Our first meeting with the researchers from the lab consisted of an in-depth walk-through of the problem.
2.

initial user research
I led the user research initiative — conducting interviews with Glioblastoma patients and caregivers to understand their needs and how they live their lives, as well as with physicians and oncologists who work with brain cancer patients. This led to understanding that a system for collecting holistic data from the patients exists but is extremely inefficient and thus, is practically overlooked.
3.

medical research
We dove deeper into researching and studying the scientific/medical side of the problem, the existing healthcare systems, and the lifestyles of terminal brain cancer patients.
4.

ideation + selection
Taking our research and the client's prompt, we ideated solutions and presented them to the lab to narrow down our direction.
5.

app UI/UX design
I co-led the UI/UX design of the mobile app, focusing on usability and experience.

View click-through prototype here.
6.

physician interface UI/UX design
I co-led the UI/UX design of the physician's aggregate view of patient data, focusing on prioritization of information to optimize the view and the time taken to grasp an understanding of the patient's health, both from their electronic health records and our app.
7.

user testing with patients
To test the desirability and value of our app, I put it in front of potential users — Glioblastoma patients and caregivers to gather their feedback.
8.

next steps
The feedback collected from the patients as well as from our clients led to an understanding of what to focus on going forward: exploring how to keep the caregivers engaged on the app, to collect a high quantity and quality of data for the physicians routinely.