New app helps treatment of cancer in the brain
MILWAUKEE _ The App Brewery at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has partnered with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Network to develop a smart phone app called NIMBLE, which streamlines communication between specialist doctors treating patients whose cancer has metastasized to the brain. The technology not only provides real-time treatment recommendations, but also speeds the initiation of treatment.
NIMBLE – Network for the Integrated Management of Brain Metastasis: Linking Experts – is the brainchild of two experts with the Froedtert & MCW Cancer Network: Dr. Joseph Bovi, MCW associate professor and medical director of radiation oncology; and Dr. Christopher Schultz, MCW professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology.
Bovi and Schultz were looking for a tool to help patients with cancers that spread from one part of the body to the brain. There are far more patients with metastasized brain cancer than those whose brain tumors originated in the brain, said Bovi, and they face a limited number of treatment options.
“People who have brain metastases often cannot wait days for treatment recommendations,” said Bovi. “Today, the survival and quality of life for people with brain metastasis is improving. NIMBLE takes it one step further by providing faster access to the experts and resources needed to treat brain metastases.”
Through the app, real-time, doctor-to-doctor discussions can take place and data-driven treatment recommendations can be delivered in hours rather than days. The app also references medical publications that support the tumor board’s recommendations.
“This powerful, innovative partnership is multifaceted,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “Brain tumor patients receive a new level of personalized care. UWM provides essential experiential opportunities to our undergraduate students through the App Brewery. And, the entire region benefits from the collaborative, entrepreneurial work that generates products like NIMBLE.”
UWM’s App Brewery, launched in 2013, is a mobile innovation laboratory in which students design, develop and host mobile apps for the Milwaukee research community. Two undergraduates and two graduate students worked on the NIMBLE app.
The app will be free for doctors and available on iOS and Android operating systems.