New breast cancer app offers users better access to research, advice

The project, co-financed by the EU, provides women with an opportunity to understand more about the disease and whether they are at risk of developing it at any stage of their lives

A new breast cancer risk app, the first of its kind on a handheld device, has been launched by Italian and Maltese research group ImaGenX.

The project, co-financed by the EU, provides women with an opportunity to understand more about the disease and whether they are at risk of developing it at any stage of their lives by taking into consideration their family history and lifestyle.

Dr Joe Psaila, project manager and head of screening, explained that the system was based on the information people inputted and that women would be placed into low, medium or high risk groups and given advice accordingly.

Parliamentary secretary for health Chris Fearne said that the app complemented the government's efforts towards early screening and it had the added benefit of appealing to younger, tech savvy audiences.

He added that the government had started offering screenings to women between 50 and 65 years of age, the most vulnerable age group, but women of all ages could be at risk.

He added that 95% of cancer patients who had had an early diagnosis had managed to beat the disease, highlighting the importance of early screening.

Psaila also added that the ImaGenX had launched its web app in 2014 and that it was accessible at  https://myrisk.eu . The page had been created through the efforts if 12 professionals and it had found some 10 high-risk cases overall.

“The hand held app being launched today, is unique in its nature. There are a handful of web platforms like the website, but the mobile phone app which will be available soon is unique,” Psaila added.

Communications manager Sergio Celano said that ImaGenX had helped both countries to work together in improving the car given to women at risk or suffering cancer.

Describing the gap between scientific research and jargon and the patients, Celano said that the app aimed to bring research closer to the people.

“Data needs to surround patients, not just remain behind laboratory doors,” Celano added.

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