It sounds cute and perky, but Ask Dory! is actually an informative app that helps patients find information about clinical trials for cancer and other diseases.
Ask Dory! integrates data from www.clinicaltrials.gov. My Cancer Genome provides “therapeutic options based on the individual patient’s tumor gene mutations, making use of National Cancer Institute’s physician data query clinical trial registry data set and information on genes being evaluated in therapeutic clinical trials,” according to a statement.
The two apps are part of the rapidly growing field of mHealth — or use of mobile devices for health purposes. Some are calling it an “mHealth bubble,” as thousands of groups large and small are rushing to develop the next great app for diabetes, cancer, infectious diseases, weight management, addictions, and more.
Seeing the potential benefit for patients and providers, federal officials are providing incentives, and funding initiatives as simple as free text messaging reminders for pregnant women and new moms, to apps like Ask Dory!
“What makes these health IT challenges so powerful is their ability to catalyze the expertise and creativity of innovators both in and out of health care,” said Wil Yu, special assistant for innovation at the Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which awarded the prizes.
In collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, ONC launched the “Using Public Data for Cancer Prevention and Control: From Innovation to Impact” challenge in summer 2011. The two winners were among four semifinalists who submitted their products to the ONC challenge in November 2011.
—Naseem S. Miller (@NaseemSMiller on Twitter)