(HealthDay News) — A new smartphone app may help lung cancer patients live longer and better by monitoring their symptoms and alerting doctors to potential problems, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

Fabrice Denis, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at the Institut Inter-regional de Cancerologie Jean Bernard in Le Mans, France, and colleagues recruited 133 patients with stage 3 or 4 lung cancer, and randomly assigned them to use either the Moovcare app or undergo standard follow-up. Standard follow-up consisted of a doctor visit and computed tomography (CT) scan every three to six months, depending on the stage of the patient’s lung cancer. Moovcare patients had the same number of planned doctor visits but underwent planned CT scans only every six to 12 months.

Patients used Moovcare once a week to report on 12 clinical symptoms. Their self-reported data was analyzed by an algorithm that triggered an e-mail alert to the patient’s cancer care team if it looked like the risk was high for a relapse or a medical emergency.

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The researchers found that 75 percent of high-risk lung cancer patients were alive one year after they started using the Moovcare app, compared with 49 percent of patients provided typical cancer care. Patients also lived seven months longer, on average, when using Moovcare — about 19 months compared to an average of 12 months for nonusers. Further, Moovcare patients required less regular CT scanning. “The number of imaging scans were reduced by 50 percent per patient per year,” Denis told HealthDay.

The Israel-based maker of Moovcare, Sivan Innovation, helped fund the trial. The app is still in prototype, but is expected to go on the market in January 2017.

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