Improving quality of life for cancer patients via a messaging app

"You have cancer". These three words are life-changing for the person who is diagnosed with cancer. They are also life-changing for his/her family and friends.  It was these words that changed the course of life for founder of this software startup. After he lost his best friend to pancreatic cancer in 2013, Charlie was convinced that it will be helpful for patients to get support using a mobile based support platform instead of browsing through hundreds of patient portals, thousands of blogs, and multiple physician encounters. So he was going to build a mobile app for cancer patients, Cancer Life.

A mobile app that was going to be an empowerment tool for patients and caregivers of this disease.

Although health information is easily available on the Internet, cancer is a health condition that is probably surrounded by the largest number of myths. The app aimed to debunk misconceptions by not just providing clinical information but also letting patients and caregivers to be part of a larger network to mutually discuss problems and get encouragement from survivors who have seen it through.

A large social network and related social support are directly related to a higher quality of life for the cancer patients. Cancer Life became a panacea to many of the cancer patients and quickly became popular by attracting thousands of users across US. 

However, as more users started to come on to the platform, there were certain areas of improvement that were much desired. Responsive design also became a necessity to support different devices and operating systems. The app was also in need of a user interface makeover to make it easier for patients share their symptoms and queries on Cancer Life.

The project came to Accion and the team was excited to be part of the Cancer Life journey and mission to impact lives. Key requirement was to solve challenges such as managing their AWS environment, creating a simplified iOS app interface, along with integrating Facebook to expand the cancer patient network, among a host of other difficulties. Also the app had to be Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) compliant as it was dealing with protected health information (PHI) of its users and their health conditions.



For a disease that impacts a huge number of people in the US alone, the solution had to be designed keeping the typical needs of a cancer patient and make it so easy to use that even a senior citizen could get on the app and share queries. As it is a messaging app, to ensure maximum reach and ease of use, it needs to integrate with all the popular messaging platforms. Also, the availability of multiple platforms for discussion means that you are collecting critical data that can improve your quality of life. The more sources of data and support you have the more confident you are in tackling the problems.  

In a record turnaround time, Accion managed to build a fresh new look with soothing color palette and icon styles that made it easy for the users to register and get started on the iOS app.  In addition to the improved UI and UX, Accion also delivered a robust AWS solution strategy, and developed a private network for cancer patients to connect with other patients and caregivers.


Today, the platform enjoys support and accolades of its users as a collective voice for “more cancer care power" to patients, survivors and caregivers. 91% of Cancer Life users are driven to improve other cancer patients lives. Today with the growing number of users and increasing care network, Cancer Life efforts are bearing results.


Seeking to build something similar and touch lives? Contact us.