New MUHC app helps cancer patients navigate healthcare system, keep tabs on treatment

Cancer patients at the MUHC now have access to a handy app that helps them get access to medical information about their case and help ease the management of their treatment.

It's called OPAL - it provides, among other things, test results, treatment plans, doctors' medical notes, and a log of your appointments. the user-friendly app also sends you alerts about when your appointment is coming up or when the doctor is ready to see you.

Work on the app began four years ago, sparked by breast cancer patient Laurie Hendren who wanted more transparency about her medical information.

The app recently received a prestigious medical award which unfortunately Hendren did not get to see - she died a few days before the awards ceremony.

The doctors working on the app with Hendren, Dr. John Kildae and Dr. Tarek Hijal, said they believe Hendren would have been pleased since she wanted patients to be more informed and in a sense, in control of their treatments.

The app is expected to be expanded to five other hospitals in Montreal over the next few years. The doctors also would like to see the app developed for other departments.