Onkobutler – developed by doctors for doctors

Digital diary: additional data for therapy planning.

As the workload in oncology rises, treatment teams are becoming more selective in patient consultations, posing challenges in fully documenting their condition since the previous contact.

The Onkobutler is a free app for mobile phones and tablets that assists oncology patients in the daily tracking of important health data. The application uses the data to generate informative graphical summaries. Patients can forward these reports to their treatment team via encrypted email, typically in preparation for consultations.

This supplementary information is seamlessly delivered to practitioners, enabling more targeted discussions and personalised therapy planning.

Project concept:

Harnessing the potential of digitalisation for treatment advancements

It was time

  • to finally put our everyday digital companions to use for patients and their treatment.
  • to provide patients with a digital platform for documenting and storing their health information and condition throughout their treatment.
  • to ensure that data stays with the patients and is only shared at their discretion.
  • to have data processed intelligently to deliver relevant information to treatment teams, following patient approval.

Objective of the app

A fitting offer for ALL patients.

The Onkobutler motivates patients to become proactive, as they appreciate the opportunity to actively participate in therapy. Practical and easy to use, the Onkobutler allows patients to get started immediately after installation, regardless of their level of computer expertise. The Onkobutler has a wide reach, catering to all oncology patients.

One size fits all: Entity- or therapy-related restrictions were deliberately avoided.

Limits of the Onkobutler

The Onkobutler is a digital application that does not assume any control functions. Patients are reminded that using an electronic diary does not serve as a substitute for visiting their doctor. The cancer app does not offer any diagnosis or treatment advice. However, it can provide essential assistance during doctor-patient discussions by organising and visually presenting vital signs and therapy-related data.

Data management

Safeguarding sensitive health data is a particular concern and is carried out in compliance with the strict regulations of the Federal Republic of Germany. The patient maintains full responsibility for all data at all times. Reports are sent to the practitioners via encrypted emails upon approval by the patients.

Otherwise, treatment teams have no possibility – or obligation – to view the data. No additional workload is created by inflow of unwanted data.

Creation of the Onkobutler

The Onkobutler’s content and structure were designed in cooperation with an expert body consisting of oncology doctors. This was preceded by a web-based pilot project. The shared objective of the expert body is to provide practical applications that support standard care for oncology patients. A project of this nature would not be possible for doctors actively engaged in patient care without help in project management, the technical implementation and ensuring compliance with extensive regulations.

AMGEN provides project management support to facilitate the implementation of the project without interfering with the content. The support of AMGEN also means that the Onkobutler is provided at no cost. The goal in the near future is to secure the funding required for operation by obtaining approval as a digital health application.

Lightening the load in everyday practice

Infographic highlighting the advantages of the Onkobutler

How successful is the use of health apps?

Many doctors have recognised the benefits of digital healthcare applications, and their acceptance is steadily increasing. According to a study, over 70 percent of all doctors believe that using a health app in a targeted manner can be beneficial1. Particularly appreciated are diary entries and the recording of vital parameters, as provided by the Onkobutler.

Improved quality of life for patients

An American study supports the assumption that patients whose symptoms are regularly monitored benefit greatly2. Participants saw a notable improvement in their quality of life, leading to a reduction in hospitalisations and emergency room visits3.

1 Health Foundation: Doctors in the future healthcare market of 2020/2 – Digital health applications (DiGa) and innovative startups in the healthcare sector. URL: https://www.stiftung-gesundheit.de/studien/aerzte-im-zukunftsmarkt-gesundheit/ (11/05/2021).
2Basch, Ethan et al.: “Symptom monitoring with patient-reported outcomes during routine cancer treatment – a randomized controlled trial.” In: Journal of Clinical Oncology 34 (2016) No. 6. p 557-565.

The Onkobutler download is just a click away:

Give the simple and user-friendly app a try and suggest it to your patients as a helpful tool for enhancing your doctor-patient discussions.