Since Oak City Labs was founded in 2014, we’ve had opportunities to collaborate with professors, academics and clinicians to develop customized software solutions for some of the industry’s most pressing pain points. Working with professors is a unique treat for our team, as they have spent the majority of their careers identifying a specific problem to solve through technology. Their work is thorough and calculated, making their data and software solutions evidence-based or deep in the study phases of research. By the time we connect on our initial Zoom call, they are usually ready to hit the ground running! This month, we want to recognize a few of the incredible professors and clinicians that we’ve had the pleasure of working with. 

Michael A. Crary, Ph.D., FASHA & Giselle Carnaby, MPH, Ph.D., FASHA
Florida Dysphagia Institute

Before we met Dr. Crary and Dr. Carnaby, our team knew little about Dysphagia and its impact on the aging population. Dr. Crary and Dr. Carnaby have spent their careers researching Dysphagia and various therapy methods that could effectively treat and rehabilitate patients. They came to our team in 2021 to discuss an app that would allow clinicians to answer a series of questions, then produce a graph output of their responses. Their goal was to streamline the process of training that was traditionally completed with pen and paper. After hearing their story and seeing the positive impact that Dr. Crary and Dr. Carnaby have in their community, we were eager to jump in and join their efforts to develop the app. As with all of our projects, we met with them on a regular basis to identify what features their app needed to best support their team. 

We spent the next several months developing the iOS app and creating a portal for the Dysphagia Institute’s team to utilize for online learning, training, exams, and certification. By the end of the project, Dr. Crary and Dr. Carnaby had an evidence-based, intuitive, and easy-to-use mobile app along with a portal for their team.  Today, they continue to innovate in the field of dysphagia management with their new app that provides better insight into swallowing disorders.

“We didn’t have a clue about how to proceed with developing an app. Oak City Labs answered all our questions, was clear in communication, and very responsive. Because of their efforts, they’re helping us to grow.” – Dr. Michael Crary

Laura Widman
Professor of Psychology at NC State University

In June of 2022, Professor Widman reached out to Oak City Labs to discuss her ideas for “The Talk Tutor” – an interactive app for parents to use as a guide when speaking to their children about sex and relationships. After meeting with Laura, we learned that many parents feel uncomfortable or unprepared to approach their children about the “birds and bees”. Laura’s mission from the beginning of her project has been to equip parents to confidently approach their children about sex, and provide them with helpful conversation starters, educational resources, and the ability to connect with other parents who are in a similar stage of life. 

Professor Widman came to our team for help in determining whether she should build a web or mobile application. Throughout the next several months, Laura conducted 100 interviews with parents, teachers, pastors, and clinicians to learn more about how the topic of sex is approached from various perspectives. From there, we listened to the feedback she received and determined what the best approach would be for her submission to a grant program. Through many planning sessions with our team, we formed a design and outline of the application. By the end of our meetings, Laura had a design ready to submit for approval and potential funding! We are confident that Professor Widman’s application will find funding in a fantastic program, and we look forward to future development with her. 

“They’re extremely creative and bring ideas to the table. [They are] especially good at working with designers and engineers who really understand how to make a good design and are willing to bring in new ideas and ideas.” – Professor Laura Widman

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. All around the world, family and friends are pulling out their pink clothing to show support to their loved ones who are courageously fighting breast cancer. Sadly, breast cancer is familiar to many, as about 2.3 million women and men have been diagnosed since 2020.

Researchers are working tirelessly to develop a cure to eliminate breast cancer. In the meantime, the tech industry has teamed up with doctors and researchers to create resources that will put treatment control back in the bands of the patient. We narrowed down a list of our five favorite breast cancer management apps that are free and available to download today!

Breast Advocate

The Breast Advocate is available on the App and Google Play Stores. It was the first shared decision-making app that was co-created by both patient advocates and breast cancer specialists. The mission of the Breast Advocate is to empower patients to confidently approach their oncologists and have meaningful conversations about various treatment options. Using evidence-based information and an extensive database, the Breast Advocate provides personalized recommendations for treatments that are based off of the patient’s diagnosis, personal values, and preferences. The app also provides educational tools that include a comprehensive yet personalized approach to all treatment options and links to recent case studies with expert opinions. Treatment for breast cancer is a personal decision that every patient should have complete control over. The Breast Advocate is a fantastic resource to give patients the confidence they need to determine their own treatment journey.

ChemoWave

Available on the App Store and Google Play, ChemoWave was created to assist patients in tracking their symptoms, medications, and daily activities. This app allows users to set up medication reminders and keep a journal of their symptoms throughout the day. Additionally, the app provides tools to track daily steps and other physical activities. The app uses AI-enabled insights to generate a breakdown of a symptoms, moods, and treatment actives, then generates a personalized chart for patients to visualize what activities made them feel better or worse.

MBC Connect

Free on GooglePlay, MBC Connect is an interactive patient registry for those with metastatic breast cancers. The app provides educational information on various diagnoses, gives links to the latest clinical trials, and nudges patients with opportunities to connect with other MBC app users. The app allows users to enter their health and medication information while maintaining privacy guidelines. The health and medication information contributes to a powerful database that will drive advances in research!

CaringBridge

CaringBridge is available for free on GooglePay and the Apple Store. This app is a helpful resource to keep family and friends up to date on the patient’s cancer journey. With the app, users can write in a personal journal and maintain complete control over the viewing permissions for family and friends. There are also gallery features for users to post their milestone moments and share with the support group. Another great feature is support mobilization. This allows users to coordinate help of all forms, from meal trains to fundraising and donations.

ACSFUNdraising

Cancer treatment is costly. The average cancer patient spends about $150,000 in treatment. With ACSFUNdraising, patients can accept donations and access any fundraiser organized by the American Cancer Society. Additionally, patients can register for a Relay for Life and link up with a team who can walk or run to raise funding that goes towards treatment. The app allows family and friends to create fundraisers, share them on social media, and send donation receipts to online givers. Cancer treatment should be available to every person, no matter what their socioeconomic status is. With ACSFunding, the burden of treatment costs can be significantly lifted.

 

These are just five of thousands of resources available to breast cancer patients! With the help of technology, finding healthcare educational information, and support is made easier. If you or someone you know is battling breast cancer, show your support by sharing these helpful resources.