The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently announced a new open innovation challenge that brings together some of the hottest/biggest trends in cancer care, innovation, and technology. The “Crowds Care for Cancer: Supporting Survivors Challenge,” is a two phased opportunity for people outside of the federal government to roll up their sleeves and contribute to addressing some of the most pressing challenges in post-treatment cancer survivorship. The challenge seeks to spur development of innovative tools and applications to help survivors and their caregivers manage information, enhance communication, and coordinate care as they transition from specialist to primary care.
The following examples highlight just a few ideas that a tool for supporting survivors might address:
* Assist survivors in using and managing information from their providers and survivorship care plans to improve communication within their care teams (i.e., families, friends, and members of their primary and specialty care teams)
* Address components of self-management such as tracking medication and medication adherence, upcoming appointments, symptoms, and healthy lifestyle recommendations
* Incorporate existing health care technologies and data standards tied to existing electronic care platforms that can adapt to evolving survivorship care needs, such as Blue Button+
More specific information, including the challenge timeline, rules, and resources are posted on the challenge site. Interested applicants should register soon – the deadline for submitting the initial application concept for the first phase ends on May 28th!
As a pioneer and leader of the field of survivorship over the last 15 years, the LIVESTRONG Foundation is very supportive of ONC and NCI efforts to drive innovation in survivorship care. Below is a “toolkit” of resources for any applicant interested in submitting an application. Some of these can provide general information about survivorship or examples of how to provide support to survivors, while others might themselves serve as actual components of a submission. It’s up to you!
General Resources about Survivorship:
* Essential Elements of Survivorship Care – in 2011, the LIVESTRONG Foundation convened 150 experts in cancer to establish a consensus list of the different components of effective care for post-treatment cancer survivors.
* Challenges Reported by Cancer Survivors – This 2010 survey offers a thorough examination of the medical, practical, and psychosocial needs as reported by over 3,000 cancer survivors. Other surveys we’ve conducted also point to the need for better digital access to health information.
* Survivor Interviews – In order to better understand the evolving needs of individuals affected by cancer, the Foundation has conducted several interviews with post-treatment survivors and their caregivers.
*Cancer Guide and Tracker – The Foundation built this iPad app as a model for what it would look like for patients to be able to manage their symptoms, appointments, medication, and more in a central place. Moreover, the Foundation’s comprehensive Cancer Guidebook is built in.
*LIVESTRONG Navigation – The Foundation offers a one-of-its kind model that matches individuals to emotional, medical, financial, and other forms of support at no cost. Support starts with a simple online intake form or phone call: 1.855.220.7777.
* LIVESTRONG Care Plan – Built in 2009 in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s OncoLink, this is the most comprehensive resource available for post-treatment survivors. Care Plans will also be a central component of the Commission on Cancer’s Standards for patient-centered care.
* Resources for Professionals – There are a variety of ways for health care professionals to engage their patients when it comes to life after cancer. These are a few resources LIVESTRONG has offered to help medical providers over the last several years.
We would also encourage any interested applicants to simply browse our website, livestrong.org, for more information about survivorship. If you are interested in participating in this challenge and would like to ask any questions or talk to LIVESTRONG staff, please reach out via e-mail or twitter. Good luck!