Cancers iPhone app spreads vital medical knowledge

Nov 3, 2009
Health

Let’s face it: Showing off the Cancers app (Michael Quach, free) at your next party probably won’t get you anywhere near the “oohs and ahhs” as that latest iPhone video game or digital drummer program. But while those leisure programs might boast that they can save your sanity, they can’t save your life. And Quach, […]

Let’s face it: Showing off the Cancers app (Michael Quach, free) at your next party probably won’t get you anywhere near the “oohs and ahhs” as that latest iPhone video game or digital drummer program.

But while those leisure programs might boast that they can save your sanity, they can’t save your life. And Quach, who has developed applications ranging from a 12-step meeting locator to one that defines endocrine diseases, has developed a simple-to-use reference guide for those who want to learn more about cancer.

While experienced doctors might find the material on cancers a bit elementary, anyone who has a family member, friend or acquaintance suffering from some variant of the disease — and that’s all of us, right? — can learn from this free app, which takes up a meager .5 MB on your phone. It also serves as a handy study guide for medical interns, nurses and those who treat cancer patients.

With this 1.0 version having just arrived in November 2009, Cancers isn’t too sexy and room for improvement seems obvious. Right now, you can only look up text information on more than four dozen cancers and cancer-related terms such as “radiation therapy.” First upgrade: Let’s see pictures of cancer cells taken at the microscopic level, or anatomical illustrations that show where and how a given cancer might strike.

Given time, I’m hoping that this useful, simple app will leap forward in quality as new versions become available. In the meantime, the price is hard to beat for information as crucial as this.

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Lou Carlozo

Former Chicago Tribune DVD columnist, current music critic at Christian Century, paid blogger/columnist for AOL's WalletPop and True/Slant ... but most important, a proud owner of an iPhone 3Gs and one of the first in Chicago to own a duo-core MacBook Pro laptop. Flash back 30 years; my first computer ever in 1979: an Apple II.

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