Georgia Tech researcher creates app to personalize cancer care: 3 notes

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta have created an app, dubbed MyPath, to present patients with personalized information about their cancer treatment plan.

Three notes:

1. The project began six years ago when Elizabeth Mynatt, PhD, the principal investigator on the effort and a distinguished professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, sought to support the holistic cancer care program at the Harbin Clinic in Rome, Ga. Physicians and care navigators at the clinic wanted a better way to stay connected with patients on a regular basis, even after a visit.

2. MyPath uses artificial intelligence to personalize the resources it displays, based on a patient's diagnosis, treatment plan and symptoms. Patients complete surveys to keep the app updated on their needs, so it can adapt to each stage of their cancer journey. For example, if a patient with stage 2 breast cancer is scheduled for a lumpectomy, the app will suggest relevant articles to prepare for the procedure.

3. The app is in use with an estimated 50 breast cancer patients in rural Georgia, according to Georgia Tech. Maia Jacobs, PhD, a member of the MyPath development team, is now exploring how to expand the app to other diseases. Dr. Jacobs earned her doctorate from Georgia Tech and is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Research on Computation and Society at Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University.

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