Glen Huntly nurse creates new app

Founder and co-director Sara McLaughlin-Barrett chats to the Caulfield Glen Eira Leader. Read full article below.



AFTER working alongside cancer patients for more than eight years, a Glenhuntly nurse has developed an app that could change their journey for the better.

Lung cancer nurse consultant Sara McLaughlin-Barrett has spent the past two years developing My Cancer Pal, a mobile application to help educate and support people living with cancer.

Ms McLaughlin-Barrett said she was inspired to create the app by a number of her patients who expressed a need for greater support, resources and information on cancer treatments and side effects in an easy to understand and accessible way.

She said the idea for the app came when she was discharging a patient who required a lot of education and support.

“It sounds really cliche but it was a light bulb moment,” Ms McLaughlin-Barrett said.

The 31-year-old said My Cancer Pal provided 24/7 access to key management and support tools, combined with reliable peer-reviewed information.

The app includes a contacts list, such as medical oncologists, cancer nurse specialist, radiation oncologist, an appointments calendar, a pain tracker, a carers weekly update, nutritional advice and tips, information from beyondblue about anxiety and depression and content and resources from Palliative Care Australia and Palliative Care Victoria.

Ms McLaughlin-Barrett said My Cancer Pal had also been tested and reviewed by Australians living with cancer.

“I really wanted to write it in a way that patients, carers and families could understand,” she said.

“The feedback has been wonderful. In the first week of launching it we reached number two on the app store for medical apps.”

“It’s something I’m really passionate about — educating and supporting my patients and that’s what inspired me to create this app. All cancer patients should have this to empower them and support them through this journey. It’s a way for them to be involved and take back a bit of control.”


April 7, 2016

AUTHOUR: Holly McKay

PHOTO: Chris Eastman

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