Towards joint decision-making with ProstAid

A prototype* web-based app that aims at to create clear personalized, ranked shortlists of suitable treatment options, helping shared decision-making in prostate cancer care

*In development. Not currently available for sale

The shock of being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be overwhelming and the effects of treatment may be life-changing in themselves. With our ProstAid app, we aim to help cancer patients take an active role in making a well-informed decision on treatment. The web-based app will be designed to provide an easy-to-understand shortlist of the most suitable treatment options and supporting information that is personalized for the patient. This enables shared decision-making, which could give the best chance of the right treatment choice for that patient.


What is it?

ProstAid is a prototype web-based app that is designed to support the shared decision-making process for newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients. It gathers clinical data about the patient and their tumor, and captures personal information about the patient and their quality-of-life preferences. Based on these data, the app would then generate a tailored shortlist of the most suitable treatment options, and present this list in a clear and easy-to-understand way using patient-friendly views to indicate potential side effects. In the longer term, it could also include popular choices made by similar patients.

What is innovative about it?

Designed to facilitate shared decision-making: The ProstAid app could make it easier for patients to understand the options available to them showing the risks and side effects, and helping them make an informed decision. It is designed to create a personalized prognosis and shortlist of treatment options, so it could help patients choose the best treatment option for them without being overwhelmed.


"Studies show that shared decision-making improves quality of care: reducing elective treatments, improving patient-clinician communication, and reducing unwarranted variation in care, as it delivers care that is consistent with a patient's preferences."

Pavan Dadlani, Senior Scientist, Smart Professional Spaces, Philips Research


Envisioned to be a simple-to-use, web-based tool: the web-based app is aimed to be used in the doctor's office during the consults, or in the patient’s home. It is designed to present complex data about the options, outcomes and consequences of particular treatments using clear language, and it would illustrate this information using patient-friendly views.

“In providing information to patients, I would like to have an instrument that immediately tailors the information to the patient. Information that can be taken home in order to share with others, and an instrument that gives us feedback on how well the information is received by the patient."

Prof.Dr. Chris Bangma, professor and Chairman, Department of Urology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

What is the benefit of this innovation to ‘you’?

One in six men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. There are effective treatments, but all of them have an impact on the patient, and for some patients no treatment can be an option too. Shared decision-making is an important part of the process as it can empower patients, increasing their chance of making informed decisions and choosing treatments that give them the best quality of life. However, the currently available information materials about prostate cancer and its treatment – pamphlets, booklets, generic interactive tools and nomograms – can be difficult for patients to understand. The ProstAid app is designed to uniquely combine encryption-secure personal patient information, which could help caregivers collaborate more closely with their patients. Its user-friendly interface and clear language and visualizations would enable and support patients to take a more active role in managing their personal health.


How will we do this?

In 2012, Philips started to address how cancer patients deal with their emotions and process information at the time of diagnosis. As a result, a prototype decision-support tool for prostate cancer was presented at the European Prostate Awareness Day in September 2013. This ProstAid app received positive feedback from doctors, nurses and patients. User studies with clinicians and patients have been iteratively conducted in 2013.


Did you know?

  • The choice of localized prostate cancer treatment is very sensitive to patient preferences.
  • Five in six men diagnosed will not die of prostate cancer.
  • Many prostate cancer patients opt for overly aggressive forms of treatments. This could lead to side effects that could have been avoided.
  • The prototype ProstAid concept is also being extended to other forms of cancer, including breast cancer.


For more information, please contact: Pavan Dadlani, Philips Research