Cancer Survivor Creates New App to Help Patients Overcome Chemo Brain
Salt Lake City, UTAH – January 31, 2014
Cancer patients plagued by “chemo brain,” or memory issues due to chemotherapy, have a new tool to remedy recall gaps while at the doctor’s office. Chemo Brain Doc Notes is a new, free smartphone iOS and Android app that helps patients remember the important questions for their next doctors’ visit and what was said during the appointment.
“It’s easy to get into your appointment, start talking with the doctor and then completely forget what you intended to ask,” says Ahlstrom, multiple myeloma survivor. “Then you have to wait a few weeks or months for another visit to get answers to critical questions.”
Chemo Brain Doc Notes provides patients with an easy way to record questions, either by voice or by text for their next doctor visit. Patients can also record their doctor’s visit in a voice memo and play it back later. “Remembering what the doctor said during the visit is an equally big challenge, especially when the doctor covers your diagnosis or treatment plan using complicated medical terms,” says Ahlstrom.
Chemo Brain Doc Notes is a free Android and iOS app that includes a $1.99 in-app purchase to allow patients to email the recorded memos to caring family members and caregivers. All proceeds of the app go to fund cancer patient education, advocacy and research.
“I try to be at every appointment to be an extra set of ears for my friend,” says cancer caregiver Sharon Reamer. “Now if I can’t be there, she can record the visit and email me the file so I know what the doctor said.”
“I am jotting down questions in Chemo Brain Doc Notes any time I think of an issue for my next appointment,” says Liz Smith, cancer survivor. “The app is simple and easy to use.”
Cancer experts like Dr. Jatin Shah of MD Anderson say that coming prepared with written questions and a tool to take notes is an important way for patients to get the most out of their doctor’s visit. “Write all of your questions down when you come in. Bring a caregiver with an extra set of ears that can listen and remember and recall what we’ve talked about, and then write down some of those answers that we talked about or have the physician write down some of those answers. That way you can really maximize your time and really feel comfortable leaving and thinking about it over the next few days as you mull over your options,” says Shah.
Chemo Brain Doc Notes was created by Jenny Ahlstrom, multiple myeloma survivor, wife, mom of six and founder of mPatient Myeloma Radio, a live weekly Internet radio interview show interviewing the top doctors and researchers in the field of multiple myeloma. “My goal is to make life a little easier for those with cancer because I understand the needs firsthand.”
Find Chemo Brain Doc Notes