Innovation work in healthcare of children with cancer
The importance of a simple mobile application should not be underestimated. The Childhood Cancer Mobile App was the start of a collaboration between patients, parents and staff to change the healthcare of children with cancer. The development of the app has also become a model for continued development within healthcare.
The background to the innovation of the Childhood Cancer Mobile App was that the pediatric oncology clinic at Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital had difficulties in giving up-to-date information to the families of the patients. The clinic also received more and more patients. In desperation, parents spoke out in the media about how the situation affected their children.
Then the initiative was taken to do a requirement analysis of the pediatric oncology clinic. The requirement analysis was jointly done by staff, parents of children with cancer and the Center for Innovation.
Digitalization and accessible information in focus
The analysis identified two main areas that needed attention in the care of children with cancer. First, there was a lack of a modern tool for providing up-to-date information to healthcare staff and parents. At the time, the only tool available was an information binder that quickly became out of date.
The solution was to develop the Childhood Cancer Mobile App, a simple mobile app with updated and relevant information. The Childhood Cancer Mobile App Group consisted of Gunnar Cleve, Linn Pettersson, Annica Filander, Ulrika Persson and Margareta af Sandeberg from the pediatric oncology clinic and Therese Sjöberg from the Center for Innovation.
The second area that needed focus was to deal with the main problem according to the parents - having to bring their children to the emergency ward. The problem was not the emergency ward in itself but it implied that the patient had to meet different, unknown physicians. The result was that the parents were forced to answer for the care of their children and that they were concerned that they should miss information.
Therefore, a project was created for emergency care for children with cancer.
In conjunction with the move to the new hospital building in Solna, the emergency care for children with cancer has now been included in the regular daycare.
App development gave energy
The creation of The Childhood Cancer Mobile App gave energy to both healthcare staff and parents. In the development of the app, other childhood cancer clinics also got the opportunity to get information about the app through workshops lead by Therese Sjöberg. At the same time, the work by the Center for Innovation became an entrance for patient organizations to influence and participate in the process of improving the healthcare.
The Childhood Cancer Mobile App is today downloaded all over the country and has more downloads than its Canadian-American equivalent. The app is at present available in four additional languages, in addition to Swedish.
The Childhood Cancer Mobile App also opened up for an app platform that other healthcare services can use to develop apps within other parts of the county council. The Childhood Mobile Cancer App won the prize "Gyllene äpplet" and "Karolinapriset" in 2016.
In the continuing development of childhood cancer treatment, the healthcare services are investigating innovations in digital services such as PEP (the patient's own management of samples) and digital treatment review.
The pediatric oncology clinic is also considering testing how a robot, who can recognize faces and read emotions, could be useful in healthcare for children.
Therese Sjöberg, Innovation Leader
Phone: 072-719 65 58
Email: Therese Sjöberg
Read more news about innovation work in childhood cancer treatment
Innovationsarbete inom barncancervården
Read more about innovation work in healthcare of children with cancer (in Swedish)