In the Netherlands, more than one hundred thousand people are diagnosed with cancer every year of which 62% of patients survive the disease. This is of course a positive result, however the consequences of treatment should not be underestimated. Known problems include fatigue, lack of concentration and fear of the disease returning. People often have various questions regarding work, relationships, lifestyle and finances. Getting back into the flow of daily life is not always easy for a patient. Oncokompas helps these patients improve their quality of life.

Personal advice

Oncokompas provides specific advice and takes into account a person's health, personal preferences and social situation. This specific advice is given to users both immediately after the diagnosis of cancer and the years afterwards.

The digital tool collects data about the physical, psychological and social well-being of the user. In the questionnaire, various areas are reviewed including nutrition, purpose, depression and anxiety.

If an answer shows an opportunity to improve the quality of life, the user receives advice on how to realize this. Oncokompas provides specialized advice in five areas: lifestyle, body, life questions, psychological help and social interaction. Suggestions in the questionnaire include reading certain books, an overview of psychologists in the area or contacting a GP.

Supported scientifically

Oncokompas strives to make life easier for patients during and after diagnosis. It is the first digital tool that has been compiled on the basis of scientific research and leads to specialized advice. The tool contains the most up-to-date knowledge and medical guidelines. To accomplish this, several teams of experienced experts including scientists and healthcare providers who work with cancer patients on a daily basis, are involved in the development of Oncokompas. The research group, under the name 'Living together with cancer', is headed by Prof Irma M. Verdonck-de Leeuw, a professor of psychosocial oncology at VU University Amsterdam and VU University Medical Center.

Continuous improvement

The tool will continuously be adapted and improved based on user feedback and the latest scientific insights. This will provide insight into the costs and benefits of Oncokompas. The team is working on a scientific study to chart the support it gives both patients and healthcare providers and to draw lessons from them.

Oncokompas is included in the basic health insurance package, so it is not a private expense. To gain access to Oncokompas, the patient can register via the website, after which they will be contacted by an Oncokompas consultant.

Bron: ICT & Health

Topicus has developed Oncokompas, which was commissioned by the Vrije Universiteit (VU). Together with Red-kite and the VU, we will continue to develop Oncokompas and we strive to make Oncokompas even more useful and user-friendly as a tool to aid people who are diagnosed with cancer.