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Australian-first digital toolkit empowers patients and caregivers to manage cancer treatment for children 

The Queensland Children’s Hospital has launched an update to their MyQCH app with an Australian-first digital toolkit to support children and their families through their cancer journey.

The new update includes a new dedicated oncology section, offering patients and families a comprehensive hub of information, health management tools, key contacts and supportive tools and resources. While also enabling patients to discover trends about their health, safely store blood test results, and access safe and rapid emergency care. 

The digital toolkit will also include an interactive symptom monitor survey, which asks users to select an answer that best describes how they’re feeling according to a range of key symptoms where they then can receive a notification alerting them as to whether there is a low or immediate level of concern.

Another handy feature for families is the ‘When to call’ tool, empowering families with an easy-to-use emergency medical plan. The app also navigates families to the nearest appropriate hospital if needed, making travel a less stressful experience. 

While the app provides patients and families with plenty of features to better manage the cancer journey, the app also offers a series of guided mindfulness tracks devised and recorded by oncology psychologist Ashraf Badat, especially for children with cancer to support well being, treatment, and procedural anxiety. 

The oncology toolkit was co-designed and tested over two years with patients, families, oncologists, nurses and allied health professionals. 

The clinical safety and effectiveness of the symptom management tool has been studied and validated through research lead by Professor Natalie Bradford as part of the Queensland University of Technology’s Remote Symptom management in Paediatric Oncology (RESPONSE) Project. 

The development of the oncology hub was funded through the Children’s Hospital Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the statewide clinical sub-network associated with paediatric oncology at Queensland Children’s Hospital. 

Download the MYQCH app via the Apple Store or Google Play Store. 

Pictured (from left) are project team members Penny Slater, Professor Natalie Bradford (QUT), Matthew Douglas, Paula Condon and Philippa Fielden.