User-Centered Design of a Digital Health Solution to Improve Symptom Management in Advanced Cancer Care

The Opportunity

Hospice care is predominantly a community-based service, as most of the efforts fall on the patient’s family members and friends, and hospice systems often lack tools to provide guidance for care. To help with the need in this space, this project sought to improve symptom management for cancer patients and those in hospice care.

Our Approach

The team developed a digital tool called ENVISION (ENgagement and Visualization to Improve Symptoms In ONcology care), which uses symptom assessment data collected and submitted by family caregivers to help hospice professionals more easily identify patients with poorly controlled symptoms. The team conducted user evaluations of the current ENVISION prototype to assist caregivers in the assessment and management of patients with advanced cancer. They then completed a user-centered design process, which resulted in a functional version of the ENVISION tool that’s suitable for clinical integration and effectiveness testing.

The Solution

The end result was that ENVISION is clinically viable: It is responsive to user needs and is useful and easy to use. There is a planned pilot for the winter of 2022. This project was selected for inclusion as one of three projects in a forthcoming submission to P01 Program Project Grant to National Institute on Aging and an R01 submission to the National Cancer Institute.