Four years ago, Lucy Landau was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after noticing a small lump on her neck. She was 36 weeks pregnant at the time. Within 10 days, she received the shock diagnosis, gave birth, had a PET scan and started chemotherapy.
Recalling the experience, Lucy says she felt robbed. “I should have been treasuring the moments with my new baby, but instead, I had a sense of darkness looming. I felt guilty for not being able to be 100% there for my daughter. Life became a blur.”
Her husband, tech entrepreneur Paul Landau, explains how the news was hugely ovwehleming and turned their lives upside down. “When we were still processing the news of the diagnosis, we were bombarded with information from every corner,” he says.
“Suddenly, Lucy had to remember hospital visits, logging everything in her treatment journal, taking endless medications, looking out for possible signs of infection. At home, the onus of care was very much placed on us, and, with so much to manage, it was overwhelming at times.”
Landau, who helped to pioneer the wearables space with the launch of Fitbug in 2005, founded Careology after witnessing his wife’s cancer diagnosis and treatment journey.
The connected health solution helps people with cancer track heir own physiology and manage their symptoms, side effects and medication, as well as helping them understand when they should seek support from a healthcare professional.
“I was struck that despite being seriously unwell, Lucy didn’t want to be a nuisance. She became so sick of being sick that we would regularly hold debates over whether she really had to let her nurses know about the side effects she was suffering. It was clear, however, that if you don’t act quickly when certain things come up, they can quickly become very complex,” continues Landau.
For Landau, there was an opportunity to support his wife and others by combining intuitive software with wearable tech. He believed that this could provide greater control and useful tool to help patients on a daily basis.
He says: “I wanted to help connect people with a cancer diagnosis to their family and friends, and to their clinicians, to give peace of mind that if something needs attention, the people that matter know about it quickly and can act on it.”
Using his previous experience in the technology sector, Landau’s aim was to build a solution with user experience and connectivity at its heart. He claims that it enables an enhanced patient experience by helping individuals to be “better patients” and helps healthcare privides deliver optimal outcomes.
Careology integrates with popular health-tracking devices to monitor temperature, heart rate, and activity levels and help identify potential complications early. It’s also using proprietary, anonymized data sets to create machine learning algorithms that could “enhance the course of healthcare provision” and “enable predictive analytics to significantly benefit areas such as drug discovery”.
Having recently relapsed, Lucy is using the software log her treatment information in one place. She says: “It gives me a sense of control back, and it feels that I’ve gained something, at a time when almost everything else feels like it is out of my control.”