Helping Patients Navigate Cancer With The Power And Simplicity of Waze

Helping Patients Navigate Cancer With The Power And Simplicity of Waze

John Nosta 19/04/2019 3

Cancer is a journey. And a difficult one at that. From diagnosis to treatment, the navigation of this disease is complicated for all stakeholders. Patients and caregivers often find the complexities and logistics of care practically insurmountable and the ensuing difficulties may directly compromise clinical care and outcomes.

Patients need a road map. Or better yet, a simple and user friendly way to support clinical care.

It's here now and called Belong. The Belong app provides people with cancer and their families a unique and innovative personalized solution to help manage and fight cancer more effectively.  Belong helps provide access to leading leading oncologists, radiologists, researchers & nurses who answer general information questions (without providing specific medical advice), help organize a wide range of documents securely on your mobile device, and facilitate streamlined sharing. They also provide highly-personalized information and notifications that support the unique needs of patients and caregivers leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence. Further, access to a robust clinical trial matching service drives a proactive initiative to support new and emerging treatment options.

The Belong story begins like many traumatic cancer patient journeys when the founders witnessed close family members struggle while trying to navigate cancer care choices - from doctor selection to treatments to side effects to managing emotional overload to paying bills.

One of Belong's co-founders, a successful tech entrepreneur, CEO Eliran Malki, captured the essence of the company.

What if instead of investing in developing faster computers or new financial analytics, we apply our skills to change the way patients and physicians work together, to make the journey more manageable and effective - to enable patients to be a greater influence in future care and drug development?

While Belong provides valuable information for users, it's the back end analytics where some of the magic also lives. And it's the numbers that set Belong apart.

  • 150,000 active members--the largest cancer network in the world.
  • More than 1 million views per month.
  • Available in 129 countries.
  • In excess of  500 million machine learning calculations to date.
  • Analysis of over $100b of US treatment costs per year.
  • 2 million minutes of inpatient education time is saved each year.

The resulting input and analytics result in a "hyper-personalized" approach to allow users to become directly involved in fact finding and support groups that specifically suit their needs--from cancer type to social issues.

The shift from control to collaboration is a driving trend in medicine. A heightened focus on the patient and broader engagement by all stakeholders drive care that is simply better. From logistics and group support to clinical insights around care and treatment, Belong is helping make the road more navigable for many of the individuals on the journey called cancer. And it's the voice of the patient that may have wide influence--from drug development to how we all think about the future of care.

Follow me @JohnNosta for an enlightening and unexpected view of the future.

A version of this article first appeared on Forbes

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  • Lauren Hill

    Fantasic! Good words to take to a good heart.

  • Dan Jeffrey

    Simple and direct.

  • Megan Hamilton

    Great insights Love it

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John Nosta

Digital Health Expert

John is the #1 global influencer in digital health and generally regarded as one of the top global strategic and creative thinkers in this important and expanding area. He is also one the most popular speakers around the globe presenting his vibrant and insightful perspective on the future of health innovation. His focus is on guiding companies, NGOs, and governments through the dynamics of exponential change in the health / tech marketplaces. He is also a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, pens HEALTH CRITICAL for Forbes--a top global blog on health & technology and THE DIGITAL SELF for Psychology Today—a leading blog focused on the digital transformation of humanity. He is also on the faculty of Exponential Medicine. John has an established reputation as a vocal advocate for strategic thinking and creativity. He has built his career on the “science of advertising,” a process where strategy and creativity work together for superior marketing. He has also been recognized for his ability to translate difficult medical and scientific concepts into material that can be more easily communicated to consumers, clinicians and scientists. Additionally, John has distinguished himself as a scientific thinker. Earlier in his career, John was a research associate at Harvard Medical School and has co-authored several papers with global thought-leaders in the field of cardiovascular physiology with a focus on acute myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

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