Cork founded app helping cancer health workers and patients across the globe

Cork founded app helping cancer health workers and patients across the globe

Dr Richard Bambury, Kevin Bambury and Eoin O'Carroll, co-founders of ONCOassist. Picture: Paul Sherwood

A CORK-founded app is helping medical professionals (HCPs) in cancer care.

Established in 2012 by Dr Richard Bambury, Kevin Bambury, and Eoin O’Carroll, ONCOassist is the go-to app for oncology professionals.

It allows oncology clinicians to access relevant, up-to-date tools and content.

With ONCOassist, tasks that would have taken much longer are done in seconds at the point of care.

ONCOassist is accessible to oncology clinicians across multiple devices on iOS, Android, and desktop, and it has 59,000 registered users, who help define the future tools added to the app based on their needs.

It is estimated that 40% of oncology HCPs use it.

Speaking to The Echo, Kevin Bambury said: “ONCOassist was born out of the need for a platform that made life easier for oncology professionals, including doctors, nurses, and oncology pharmacists.

“Eoin and I were talking to my brother, Dr Richard Bambury, a trainee oncologist at Cork University Hospital at the time, about his need for something that freed up his time and made the day-to-day life of an oncology professional more efficient.

“We wanted to ease the burden faced by oncology clinicians on a day-to-day basis.

“Our research showed that those working in oncology had to search online or jump around multiple different decision-support tools and apps to help with their decision making.

“This was a time-consuming and inefficient process,” he said.

“By working closely with the global oncology community, we have been able to bring all of the key tools and information they need together in one place.

“From the beginning, we have been very focused on the end-user, asking for feedback via surveys, interviews, and direct email communication.

“This focus on the needs of the user has served us well throughout our development.

“The project started during our master’s in electronic business from UCC and, following that, through the UCC Ignite programme we learned a lot about how to build a product and how to turn it into a successful business.

“Our master’s programme had a lot of lecturers doing research in the healthcare space and through the Ignite programme we met mentors who ran successful businesses in healthcare. Both were hugely beneficial to our growth.”

The app helps patients as well as oncology HCPs.

“Stemming from the original goal of ONCOassist, the app frees up time for oncology healthcare professionals on a daily basis,” Kevin Bambury said.

“It allows them to perform speedier and more accurate assessments and treatment decisions.

“From this, clinicians get more time talking with patients. They can also see more patients, and improve the quality of care provided, as they are able to focus on the core aspects of healthcare.

“Our aim is to ensure everything they need, in terms of decision-support tools, is at their fingertips,” he said.

“The content is a mixture of library or catalogue information and interactive tools, where patient information is inputted and our software provides readouts of parameters, such as prognosis, treatment options, or dosing information.

“Additionally, ONCOassist empowers patients by providing them with the materials to give them power in the decision-making process.”

ONCOassist employs 15 staff and has hopes to hire more in the next year. “Right now, the majority of staff are software engineers working tirelessly to improve the app, as well as user experience based on feedback from users all over the world,” Kevin Bambury said.

He highlighted the importance of the development of medical technologies, such as ONCOassist, in the future, to ensure timely access to data and information.

“If we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that the need for modern, efficient, safe, and reliable medical technology has only escalated.

“Furthermore, as medical science advances and becomes increasingly complex, the need is growing for technology which provides accessible decision-support tools to facilitate speedy and accurate clinical decision making.”

ONCOassist is looking to expand both its workforce and reach.

“We’re constantly growing and evolving,” said Kevin.

“It is estimated that 40% of oncology HCPs globally use our platform.

“ONCOassist is helping with the revolution in delivery of global cancer care by ensuring the most up-to-date decision-support tools are available as widely as possible on a global scale.

“We are one of the few medical apps on the market to have CE approval, meaning it is fully compliant with EU medical-device standards,” he added.

“We’re hoping to take on new staff in the next year and expand into more markets around the world.”

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