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Turning meaningless waiting into meaningful preparation for cancer patients

Sensors help breast cancer patients prepare for radiation therapy

Regional Cancer Center West

Can radiation therapy feel safer with the help of the DIBH app?

Can radiation therapy feel safer with the help of the DIBH app? For many patients, radiation therapy is the final part of a long treatment for breast cancer. To protect the heart from unwanted radiation doses during treatment, Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) can be used as a method where taking a deep breath moves the heart downward in the body. But breathing correctly during treatment is not easy. This is where the innovation of the DIBH app comes in.

Sensor technology measures breathing at home

DIBH as a method has shown good results, but it requires a well-prepared, engaged patient who has learned the correct breathing technique so that an optimal position and breathing pattern can be recreated during each treatment session. With the DIBH app, patients can practice breathing at home calmly before treatment. A sensor band, placed around the chest, records the breathing pattern and sends data via Bluetooth to an app that then guides the user through the training.

Smartphone-like prototypes showing Dibh's app in three different views.

Preparation strengthens patients

By giving patients the opportunity to practice breathing at home, chances increase that they feel safer before treatment. The treatment process also becomes smoother because patients are better prepared for what is expected and what will happen.

Person undergoing radiation treatment

Collaboration is key

In the project, we have applied the so-called quadruple helix collaboration, an effective approach to building bridges and collaboration between patients, academia, clinics, and industry for long-term and scalable innovation. Together, we have developed and tested the DIBH app that we hope can help many women with breast cancer.

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Turning meaningless waiting into meaningful preparation for cancer patients

Sensors help breast cancer patients prepare for radiation therapy