The Biomedical Data Science Lab (BDSLab) of ITACA Institute and the institute of mathematics “Instituto Universitario de Matemática Pura y Aplicada IUMPA”, both at Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), have developed a new mobile application that facilitates continuous monitoring of the quality of life of cancer patients and that is being tested in the Oncology Service of the Doctor Peset University Hospital in Valencia. Called Lalaby, the app allows the monitoring of the patients’ day-to-day life. It does so from the information collected by the sensors of their mobiles and from other sources stored in them that allow calculating their physical activity (movement and movement), social interaction (voice frequencies) and activity on the network (amount of data used ).
In addition, Lalaby allows the integration of questionnaires, such as the EORTC QLQ-C30 (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer- QLQ-C30) widely used to assess quality of life, as well as for the patient to directly record the activities carried out (household chores, personal hygiene, watching TV,…), your symptoms (vomiting, shortness of breath, tiredness…) and your level of pain.
“To guide the patient in his interaction with the app, Lalaby includes a notification system that reminds him of what information to report at any given time and directs him to the screen to use with a click”, adds Ángel Sánchez García, researcher of BDSLab.
From all this information, Lalaby makes it possible to obtain user behavior patterns and relate them to quality of life indicators. “These patterns can be of great help, for example, to monitor possible changes in mood, activity, symptoms, and so on, in people starting cancer treatment, which offers doctors valuable information to make the best possible decisions for the patient’s day-to-day life ”, explains Juan Miguel García-Gómez, director of the BDSLab group.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Lalaby app, in addition to the integration and recording of all patient information that doctors can consult in the Dashboard, is its user-centered graphic design and its intuitive nature, “which it greatly facilitates its use and acceptance by patients ”, adds Sabina Asensio-Cuesta, researcher of the BDSLab group.
The graphic design of the Lalaby app is the result of a contest in which students from the UPV’s Higher Technical School of Design Engineering submitted 44 proposals. From this contest came the name Lalaby and the germ of his graphic design.
In collaboration with the Doctor Peset University Hospital of Valencia
In the validation of the Lalaby app, the UPV team has had the advice and collaboration of Inmaculada Maestu, Head of the Medical Oncology Service of the Doctor Peset University Hospital in Valencia, Maria Martín, also from the aforementioned hospital, and Teresa Soria, an oncologist and collaborator of the project. It is precisely with patients from this hospital – specifically, patients with lung cancer – with whom the first trials of the validation and improvement of the app are being carried out.
Among the advantages of continuous monitoring, the UPV team and the Doctor Peset University Hospital point out that it contributes to observing the evolution of the patient in the course of active cancer treatment, in which it is essential to make decisions aimed at maintaining its functionality and quality of life.
Dr. Inmaculada Maestu points out that “the Lalaby app allows us to have more information regarding the patient’s symptoms, both the disease itself and that derived from the treatments applied. This contributes to better control of the disease and can help us in making therapeutic decisions. It helps patients to maintain better communication with the medical team, being able to express their health status in real time, which leads to the adoption of appropriate interventions aimed at improving their quality of life ”.
Valid for other chronic diseases
In addition to cancer patients, Lalaby could also be adapted for the study of quality of life in people with migraine headaches or chronic covid patients, among other pathologies.
“The app makes it possible to correlate the data stored by mobile phones with questionnaires used to evaluate these and other chronic diseases, hence its potential,” concludes Sabina Asensio-Cuesta.
More information about Lalaby available at www.lalaby.es
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