Impact App

An application to help combat the feelings of uncertainty when a child is diagnosed with cancer

Case Study

Dr. Ahna Pai from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital wanted to create an app to decrease the uncertainty parents feel after learning that their child has cancer and the deluge of information that follows. In the past, when parents are told that their child has cancer, they receive a large, intimidating binder filled with all the information they need to know about the treatment process

Dr. Pai wanted the app to introduce the medical, hospital and logistical information that was presented to the parents in a less intimidating manner and can empower parents in supporting their child throughout their cancer journey. The IMPACT app put all of this information at parents finger tips as well as guided parents through activities to identify new coping strategies to navigate the new challenges that the cancer journey brings

LiveWell Team

1 Faculty Advisor
3 Graduate Students
3 Co-Ops

Multidisciplinary Clinical Team

The Live Well Team collaborating in the studio spaceBenchmarking and research documents scattered on a table


Create an alternate & better solution to the binder that helps combat the feelings of uncertainty and distress when receiving a cancer diagnosis


Parents can follow their child’s personal treatment plan through the app to track their journey and see what steps lie ahead.


The app synchronizes to both the patient’s and care team’s treatment calendar so that the parents can always stay up to date and connected. There are also teaching tools and links to important organizations to help parents stay informed and exercises to identify coping strategies.


The portal will target uncertainty by providing site-specific information regarding multiple topic areas for the patient and family and teaching coping strategies.


Interviews Completed

During the Spring of 2015 there were 61 interviews completed with families, medical staff, support staff, management, and other staff.

Co-creation Sessions

During the Spring of 2015 there were 28 co-creation sessions completed with families and staff in person, over the phone, and online.

Year randomized clinical trial

A five-year randomized clinical trial testing is being conducted on the app. Participating parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer will be randomly assigned to one of two conditions - both conditions will have access to the mobile application. Sixty patients are currently enrolled with recruiting scheduled to end May 2019. Preliminary results are expected in May 2020.

What We Did
User Research
Survey Creation

UX/UI Design
Initial wireframing exploration testing out different navigation styles and interactions
Literature review of relevant research papers
Exploring various user journeys and testing user flows for the app screens
Card sorting activity to help understand grouping of content, information architecture and user flows
Mind mapping to help understand relevant themes and type of information
Final screen design exploration in the refinement phase


This app allows parents to easily and quickly answer questions about the treatment process, medical terms, care providers, and doctor availability

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With the use of this new app, parents will be able to have answers to questions about the treatment process, medical terms, their care providers, and schedule when the doctor is not available to answer. The parents can feel more supported by Cincinnati Children’s, which will help them be a better support for their child.

The trial has completed data collection and analyses are currently underway

Final IMPACT App screen on an iphone
Father of an 8 year-old child diagnosed with cancer
"“In the beginning, the parents are in so much shock that you have to repeat the education process over and over again.”"

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