A University of Iowa College of Nursing professor Stephanie Gilbertson-White is using a mobile app to help Iowans in small towns and rural communities learn more about the nature of their cancer diagnosis and how to best manage their symptoms. The app is called Oncology Associated Symptoms and Individualized Strategies, abbreviated as OASIS. It provides evidence on how to manage symptoms, a daily check-in to track the symptoms and the strategies used to control them, a peer support message board, and one-to-one messaging with a research nurse.

“Research has demonstrated that Iowans living in small towns and rural areas have different needs when it comes to treating their cancer and managing side effects, and that they are willing and able to participate in technology-based research,” Gilbertson-White said in a prepared statement.

The app uses data analytics techniques to provide customized recommendations so participants can create their own symptom management plans. A news release said research shows greater social support leads to greater adherence to the planned treatment and a 66% improvement in mortality from cancer.