Thursday, March 12, 2015

Not so much for me

So Apple and UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Penn Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Sage Bionetworks have developed an app to help improve the quality of life for women after breast cancer. I'm not going to run out and buy an iPhone anytime soon so its not going to help me.

I welcome the idea of collecting data on mobile technology so those of us with chemo brain don't have to remember something until we get home to log it into the computer. But I am not happy that it is only available on one platform, which will instantly create bias in the data collected.

I honestly believe that the medical facilities involved are concerned about the quality of life for breast cancer patients. I do not believe Apple is as concerned, they only want to sell more phones. And if you believe the statistics, iPhone users are more likely to be highly educated and rich. so what about all of us Android and Windows users? We aren't cool enough to be involved?

So the bias comes from the fact that the educated and better off breast cancer patients will have more access to other modalities to care for themselves after treatment. They are more likely to be able to afford acupuncture, therapists, and more.

This advance to use mobile technology will not be equal and unbiased if it is available on Android and Windows platforms.

1 comment:

Becky said...

As someone who has the iPhone, you aren't missing much. The app is lacking in some really important ways - like it didn't allow me to say I had neo-adjuvant chemo - so if the designers miss really important (and common) treatment options, the data collected cannot be that useful .. as the saying goes 'garbage in = garbage out' ...