Cancer treatment is a complex and difficult process in a constant state of flux. Solutions that help to ease patient stress, lead them to receive better care, and minimize logistical difficulty are a boon to both patients and clinicians. Working with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, we created MyMSK—a digital companion to MSK’s unparalleled cancer treatment network—to help address an often overlooked aspect of the cancer patient experience.
MyMSK, a first of its kind mobile app, gives cancer patients tools to better manage their self-care and connect with their clinical team. It empowers them with tracking tools for symptoms and medications, and helps them maintain a complex calendar of appointments, medication reminders, and more. Armed with data that’s integrated into a single iOS app, patients can provide a more complete picture of their progress—beyond how they feel during an appointment—ultimately improving their quality of care.
Cancer diagnosis is a shocking and life-changing event, one that over 40% of the population will have to grapple with at some point in their lives. In addition to dealing with the physical and emotional toll, managing cancer treatment is like taking on a new job. At the forefront of innovation, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center looked to create a digital companion to the treatment they offer and to make the job of going through treatment more manageable. MyMSK is a solution that manages complex appointment schedules, lab results, and communication with doctors and specialists. It provides a way to keep track of medications and symptoms; and integrates with MSK’s online patient portal to support patients outside the walls of the hospital. Our extensive experience designing complex mobile apps made Moment the natural choice to tackle this problem.
“This app is groundbreaking in that it provides an even more holistic approach to care. It stays with patients, wherever they are.”
— Paul Hamlin, MD, medical oncologist
In an ongoing engagement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, we set out to innovate aspects of cancer treatment and make parts of the treatment process more actionable for patients.
The need for MyMSK was defined through ethnographic research with cancer patients and workshops with clinicians and administrators at MSK. These activities helped us to better understand and match patient and clinician needs to learn about pain points in two key areas: supporting patients at home and better equipping them for appointments with their care team.
We took a user-centered approach to co-creating solutions, which included everything from service journeys to paper prototyping sessions with patients and MSK stakeholders. We created an iOS prototype to test with patients, and through a series of iterations, visual specifications, and integrations with MSK’s web portal, MyMSK was launched to their network of patients.
Meeting users where they are during a difficult time in their lives is no easy task. However, by paying attention to their needs and understanding the larger context, we exposed some truths about treatment and how to better extend aspects of healthcare.
Supporting patients in gathering accurate data so they don’t have to rely on memory or paper tracking is critical.
Unlike sleep trackers or step counters, the data captured by MyMSK is relevant to treatment and useful to cancer experts. Additionally, medication reminders can keep patients on track with their complex treatment routines.
Smartphone users—who already rely on their devices to alleviate their communication and schedule management burden—find it easier to keep their medical info in one secure location. This helps to streamline the work patients must do while going through treatment at MSK.
The collected insight for both patients and physicians creates potential opportunities for MSK to improve care and treatment by integrating patient-reported information into their clinical workflows.
Continuity of service travels beyond hospital walls. Being attentive to the patient’s need to manage their complex self-care routine improves MSK’s patient experience.
The iOS app eases the burden of managing care for patients and their families, equipping them to collect real-time data about their experience: symptoms, vital measurements, and medication routines. By combining an appointment calendar, smart notifications for medication and tasks, and diaries to share with the clinical team, MyMSK extends MSK’s exceptional cancer care to patients, wherever they are. The flagship app also showcases MSK’s ongoing leadership as an innovator in cancer care beyond the hospital walls.