Breast Cancer Care Programme – App Development

Patient Group Uses 12-Week Accelerator Programme To Develop App

A UK patient group, Breast Cancer Care, applied in 2016 to take part in the CAST charity’s 12 week `digital acceleration programme’. Since then, the results have been striking, demonstrating the value of a structured approach to involving patients throughout app development.

Development steps

The UK Charity Breast Cancer care took some key steps to ensure that their app, Becca, would meet unmet needs of women after breast cancer treatment.  

For example, they:

  • Firstly, successfully applied to take part in a 12 week `digital acceleration programme’ called Fuse from a digital development charity, CAST
  • Secondly, used this opportunity to define with patients the problem the app needed to address, explore users’ needs and behaviours, and prototype and test the app with patients
  • Thirdly, carried out testing with more than 1,100 patients, using their feedback to enhance the app
  • Fourthly, gathered evidence for future improvements and fund-raising
  • And lastly, gained a grant of £655,000 to use machine learning algorithms to tailor content to the individual’s needs. 
Lessons learned

Writing for Civil Society Voices, Krissie Barrick, Breast Cancer Care’s Digital Innovation Manager, identified four key learnings from the project:

  • Learn from your users – create and nurture open communication, for example through workshops, phone calls, emails and surveys.
  • Gather content from the users – “We regularly ask for hints and tips from our fantastic community on our forum and social channels and we have a simple BECCA Content Creator which we circulate to bloggers”.
  • Have faith – “We had more than a few funding bid rejections…With each knock-back we continued to refine the product itself and develop its roadmap.”
  • Have a clear vision and roadmap – “…introduce algorithms in to the app to respond to a user’s cues and start delivering information to them that they have a preference for.” – Krissie Barrick, Breast Cancer Care


Hear the story of how the patient group developed the app, and their key learnings…

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Read a case study on how Breast Cancer Care defined and developed the app…

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Read patients’ reviews of the app onver on…

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