DOCTORS are testing a smart phone app to help chemotherapy patients stay safe during treatment.

Patients have been invited to take part in Ysbyty Gwynedd's clinical trial to use the app to take the right steps if any treatment complications occur.

The bilingual app, designed by Caernarfon digital agency Galactig, requires patients to answer questions each day, such as whether they are experiencing shortness of breath or have any chest pains.

An alert then goes to their chosen ‘buddy’, who can be a partner, carer or friend, notifying them that the answer has been logged.

Glynnis Gaines, from Llandudno, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer, is using the app with her husband, Alan.

“When I was asked if I wanted to take part in the trial I wasn’t too sure at first as I’m not very good with technology," she said.

“I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the app is to use and it’s great that my husband can also have the app on his phone. He can make sure I’m using it every day to log how I’m feeling which really gives me reassurance during my treatment.”

North Wales Chronicle:

The app sets a reminder every day to ask patients how they are.

The app was designed by Derick Murdoch, from Galactig, who wanted to support his mother who was undergoing chemotherapy.

He said: “Shortly after my mother was diagnosed with cancer, we began working on the app.

“During the development I was able to utilise one of its core concepts – that ‘patient safety is a network’.

“Remotely doing checklists enabled me to take part in my mothers’ care despite her being hundreds of miles away.”

Dr Anna Mullard, consultant medical oncologist on the Alaw Ward, said she has received positive feedback from patients so far.

“We take part in numerous clinical trials, some of which are implemented into general practice and some are not depending on the outcome of the study results.

“So far this trial currently offers the app to 50 patients and we have received positive feedback from those who are using it.

“This app helps to identify whether patients need to seek help if they experience any complications with chemotherapy, which many patients do.

“Friends and family are often able to identify when their loved one may be not themselves and this app can help them know when to call for help and come into hospital.

“The study gives us an opportunity to explore whether this kind of technology will benefit patients and their carers.”

Consultant physician and senior clinical lecturer in acute and critical care medicine at the School of Medical Science at Bangor University, Dr Chris Subbe, has been a key figure in driving new technology into healthcare at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

Dr Subbe, principal investigator of the study, said: “Cancer treatments can be scary and many will have some side effects. It is already common practice for doctors and nurses to check side effects of cancer treatment with patients but researchers at the Alaw Unit are now expanding this to allow patients and their carers to be more aware of the possible side effects when they are at home.

“Technology plays an increasing role in healthcare and this app is helping us work together with patients to try and keep them safer during their treatment.”

The app has been made possible through funding by Tenovus Cancer Care who are pleased to hear patients are responding well to the study.

Dr Tim Banks, Tenovus Cancer Care Head of Research, said: “Through the research we fund we aim to find new ways to diagnose cancer, better ways to treat it, and to make life easier for people living with cancer today."

A gathering to celebrate the study will be held at Riechel Hall in Bangor on May 23 and 24. It will be attended by patients, families, researchers and technology companies.

To book your ticket search Patient Powered Safety on Eventbrite.