An app for New Zealanders affected by breast cancer to connect with others, share experiences, ask questions and get support.
What does the app do?
The mybc app is an online community for people who have, or are supporting someone with, breast cancer. It was developed in partnership with the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. Users can join a number of different community chat groups, share their thoughts, comment on other people's posts, ask or answer questions. They can also connect with a mybc nurse by private message or community post via the app or via phone. In app has a diary section where users can list and track progress towards goals, record exercise, food, energy levels etc and allows users to set up medication and appointment reminders. It also includes a number of resources including a 16-week Living Well programme, educational videos, and personal stories.
For a more detailed description of the app, see Google Play or iTunes and for a detailed review, see reviews.
|✔ A mybc nurse monitors the discussion forums, provides information and answers questions
✔ App includes a comprehensive self-help programme
✔ App has a variety of resources for further information
✔ Users can connect with people in their region (New Zealand only)
|✘ Some functions not easy to use - for example the date-of-birth calendar
Reviewer: Eletha Taylor, Breast Surgeon, Auckland
Date of review: May 2018
Comments: "This app is designed for women diagnosed with breast cancer. It is an excellent resource providing information and support for women at all stages of their treatment. It is easy to use and provides access to multiple resources that women may find useful in navigating an often overwhelming period. As well as being a rich source of information, the “Community” section provides a great opportunity to share experiences and support with others. The “Nurse Messages” section enables women to contact the Breast Cancer Foundation Nurses directly for support as required.
The app is very comprehensive. It is beautifully designed and user friendly. Clearly a lot of attention has been paid in the development of this resource to make it as user-friendly as possible. Some women may find the open community more challenging, but the app is much more than this, and I think provides the more private woman with a lot of opportunity to gather information in a very non-threatening manner."
Safety concerns: The community forums are potentially an area where the opportunity for less robust information to propagate exists. However, I understand that this is managed by clinical moderation to ensure that this does not occur.
New Zealand relevance: This app is highly relevant because it has been designed specifically with New Zealand women in mind.
The Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) developed by researchers at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. It is designed to score apps on a few comprehensive dimensions — engagement, functionality, aesthetics, and information quality. Each dimension comprises several items which are rated on a 5-point scale from “1. Inadequate” to “5. Excellent”.
Read more about the MARS scale.
The mean score is the mean of two independent reviewers' ratings:
|Engagement (5 items)
|Functionality (4 items)
|Aesthetics (3 items)
|Information (7 items)
|App quality mean score
Stoyanov SR, Hides L, Kavanagh DJ, et al. Mobile app rating scale: a new tool for assessing the quality of health mobile apps. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2015 Mar 11;3(1):e27. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.3422.