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Creative

DDB NZ Designs App to Put Cancer Patients in Control

Global pharmaceutical company Pfizer NZ worked with creative agency DDB New Zealand to create the Caremate app

DDB NZ Designs App to Put Cancer Patients in Control

A digital solution helping advanced stage renal cancer patients manage their treatment has already been adopted by New Zealand patients and is catching on quickly across the Tasman.

Advanced stage renal cancer is a type of kidney cancer that can be an aggressive and debilitating disease. Patients are often burdened with the added stress of complex treatment schedules that are difficult to follow. While the advantage of oral treatment is that it is less invasive on patient's lives, the flip side of this can be less contact with healthcare professionals, and fewer opportunities to discuss symptoms.  These symptoms can be too difficult for patients to manage alone, leading to them stopping treatment.

To address this, Pfizer NZ worked with DDB New Zealand to create Caremate.

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Caremate is a digital platform designed to help those with advanced renal cancer take control of their treatment. The digital format makes adhering to their programme and monitoring their condition easy and convenient regardless of where they are, ultimately helping them achieve better treatment outcomes.

Pfizer manufactures a leading medication for renal cancer patients. The Caremate programme was prompted by research gathered by Pfizer NZ in an effort to understand how to improve the lives of renal cancer patients and go beyond medication with comprehensive care.

DDB Digital NZ creative director, Haydn Kerr, says that while a creative agency developing a digital app to support patients taking a medicine may sound unusual, using creativity and empathy to solve a medical problem makes a world of sense.

Says Kerr: "At DDB we believe our role is to create real-world solutions for the businesses we serve. Caremate is an innovative new programme that does just that, and we're proud to work with Pfizer NZ to bring it to life for those in need."

The Caremate app and its support pack work together to remind patients to take their medication, record their blood pressure, mood and symptoms on a daily basis while tracking their treatment. It also provides guidance on how to deal with symptoms they may be experiencing.

Healthcare professionals can access the data from the app during patient visits to obtain a more accurate overview of how the treatment has been working and a better understanding of how to optimise it.

With a host of success stories in both New Zealand and Australia, Pfizer is now assessing how Caremate could be employed globally for other diseases where patients face similar challenges.

For Kerr, the fact that Caremate is already being used daily by patients to manage their treatment is immensely rewarding.

Says Kerr: "We produce work all the time to help businesses achieve their goals, whatever they may be, but to see something like this out there helping people and know that, with the weight of Pfizer behind it, it might go on to help many, many more people -- it's a very cool thing to see and an amazing thing to be a part of."

Caremate has recently been recognised by the Australian medical industry, winning the Prime Award for excellence in Patient Support.