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2014-10-29

Innovation prize to app for young cancer survivors

An app for children who have survived cancer was recently awarded a prestigious prize from the American Livestrong Foundation. The app is created by researchers at Halmstad University and was chosen among over 700 entries from around the world.

The Give Me a Break research project from Halmstad University was one of 20 entries in the final of the Livestrong Foundation’s competition The Big C. Give Me a Break is a unique app adapted to improve life for children who have survived cancer. The app is a digital platform for real time interaction between cancer survivors, with the purpose of establishing friendships and social networks for long-term support. 752 entries from around the world competed for mentoring and innovation prizes and Give Me a Break was awarded one of them.

– The semi-finalists represent revolutionary solutions to daily challenges faced by cancer survivors of all ages, ethnicities and nationalities. We’re excited to see the progress that these teams have made when paired with their mentors in the accelerator phase of the competition, says Livestrong Foundation President and CEO Doug Ulman.

Support is important for the children

The goal for the research group behind Give Me a Break is to initially introduce the app on the Swedish market and then launch it in other markets.

– The growth potential for this app is significant since every year 200,000 children across the globe are diagnosed with cancer. Many are treated successfully today and can return to a normal life if they receive the right support to deal with psychological and social difficulties in the transition to everyday life, says Jens Nygren, project leader and Associate Professor in Medical Science at Halmstad University.

– By leveraging the power of digital, we hope to help young cancer survivors to create social coherence and through that, hope for their future, says Pontus Wärnestål, the project’s Interaction Designer and Assistant Professor in Informatics at Halmstad University.

Text: JENS NYGREN and LOUISE WANDEL

The Give Me a Break start page – an app for children who have survived cancer.

The research group, from left to right: Jens Nygren, Pontus Wärnestål, Susanne Lindberg and Petra Svedberg. Photo: JOACHIM BRINK

Fakta: Give me a break

The research group at Halmstad University is a multidisciplinary
collaboration with researchers, designers and entrepreneurs from several fields. After three years of research and development together with children who have experience of cancer, the group is now developing a working prototype of Give Me a Break in collaboration with two leading
agencies in the gaming and design industries, Hello There and CP+B Scandinavia. The research project is funded by the Knowledge Foundation, the Swedish Research Council, Forte, Formas and Vinnova.

Updated 2014-10-29