It has not taken Assistant Professor Deborah Walker, DNP, CRNP, AOCN, long to prepare her recently launched cancer resources smart phone app to go beyond Birmingham or cancer.
In early 2014 Walker, an oncology nurse practitioner, along with an interprofessional team of UAB faculty, staff and students, introduced a free, downloadable application they created to help health care providers and breast cancer patients identify resources for people in North Central Alabama.
“A good number of the resources are not breast cancer-specific and go across many different cancers, including support groups, wig shops, prosthetics shops, and learning centers that accept children with or recovering from cancer,” Walker said.
Funding and support came from the Women’s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham as part of an effort to improve the quality of life of breast cancer survivors and their loved ones.
Now Walker is preparing to extend the app to include other counties in Alabama and beyond. She has worked with the UAB Research Foundation since the app’s initial launch to start a company, ResourceFull™, to expand its reach.
“We are looking at geographic expansion and working with other patient populations, specifically with faculty here at the School, whose research and service touch many other diseases and conditions and whose patients could benefit from easily accessible information,” she said. “In the end I hope the app provides patients with a feeling of control over their circumstance.”
Other UAB staff members involved in the creation of the app include Larry Owen, Senior Systems Analyst and Director of the Software Engineering and Prototyping Lab in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Matthew Jennings, Instructional Design Specialist in the School of Nursing. Students have also worked on the project, including Jamal Harris, a computer science major and developer in the Software Engineering and Prototyping Lab, and Amber Hardeman, a graduate student in the School of Public Health.
“These collaborations enhanced the team building and knowledge development associated with this innovative digital technology,” Walker added.