DHU Radar

Kanker.nl Appstore: an eHealth Appstore for Dutch people affected by cancer and their relatives

Keywords: Cancer, Digital Application, Implementation, Self-Management
Dutch Cancer Society (KWF), Stichting kanker.nl, and The Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation (IKNL)
Digital solution and service (e.g. application/digital health portal/platform/AI based system/etc.)
Short description
The Appstore within the Dutch platform ‘Kanker.nl’ (cancer.nl), hereafter called OncoAppstore, is developed to increase access and availability of reliable cancer-specific and cancer-relevant online self-management applications for all Dutch people affected by cancer (PABC) and their relatives without referral by a health care professional. By providing financial credit, the applications are available to participants without any personal costs.  In July 2023, the OncoAppstore went live. Currently, there are 67 (web-based) applications and decision aids available. ​The focus of some eHealth applications: ​ emotional well-being;​ physical well-being;​ cancer-related fatigue;​ connecting with support groups and; ​ decision aids.​ Before applications are added to the Appstore, they must pass certain national reliability and privacy criteria for eHealth. Various online self-management applications have been developed, multiple in a research setting, for which access and/or availability were limited. This is due to user costs, poor findability, and the need for a subscription and/or referral by a health care professional.​ This is why the OncoAppstore is developed. ‘Kanker.nl’ is a well known online platform in the Netherlands with information about cancer for PABCs and their relatives. Therefore, this platform was chosen to run the OncoAppstore. To purchase the applications, participants have to follow three steps: i) Sign in or create an account on kanker.nl/Appstore; ii) Request a one-time credit to buy apps; iii) Choose apps that fit your needs and help you on the road to recovery. User data, the number and type of purchased applications, and used credit are monitored. Moreover, participants are asked to voluntarily complete questionnaires on health-related quality of life (HRQoL; EORTC-QLQ-C30 and Distress Thermometer) and user experience. Measures will be completed after the first application is purchased, and 3 and 6 months thereafter. Data on use of health care services and disease characteristics are collected from the PABCs who completed the additional questionnaires.  The data on usability, accessibility, HRQoL, and (cost-)effectiveness of the OncoAppstore will provide insights needed to improve the infrastructure and financing of self-management applications in Dutch cancer care.
There is evidence for economic viability and/or of benefits to the target group of the practice. Further research/development is needed for routine use.
The practice is ‘on the market’, yet, research is still underway to provide evidence for economic viability and benefits to the target group.
Geographical scope
Due to different financial structures and reliability and privacy criteria for eHealth applications, broadening the geographical scope in this stage of the project is challenging. However, it would be great to achieve this at some point.
The implementation of the practice is still very much ongoing. The uptake is increasing since the OncoAppstore went live in July, 2023.
Submitted in other database or repository of digital health resources that is publicly available

Additional information

to patients / citizens
Remote monitoring apps/health outcomes tracking
Telehealth and telemedicine
Personalised prevention apps
Health promotion and wellness apps and wearables/virtual coaches
Digital tools to support health education (health literacy)/digital health literacy
Digital tools to support patient feedback and reporting of outcomes and experiences
Self-management/ICT supporting adherence to medication and care-plans
Other (please define below)
Decision aids and connecting with support groups
Primary target patient group (age)
May be used across all patient ages
Addressed prevention area(s)
Nutrition and diet, Fitness and physical activity, Education, Mental health, Environment (e.g., housing, workplace)
Use case and care pathway positioning
Treatment, Disease monitoring, treatment compliance, self-management, Prevention and wellness, Patient or citizen communities, self-help and mentoring, Rehabilitation, Reuse of data for research
Ready to be transferred to
The practice has been transferred in other locations, regions or national scale in the same country.
Plans for cross-border implementation
Have not been considered and will not be developed in the near future