AfterShock: Facing a Serious Diagnosis
By Center for Advancing Health
This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.
Receiving bad news about your health is scary and can turn your life upside-down.
The AfterShock app offers a simple roadmap through the first few days and weeks after a serious diagnosis, providing concise information and trusted resources to help you regain a bit of control during this turbulent time. Whether your diagnosis is cancer, Alzheimer's disease, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis or another condition, the decisions you make about your care will have an important impact on you and your loved ones.
This app is based on the book “AfterShock: What to Do When the Doctor Gives You – or Someone You Love – a Devastating Diagnosis” by Jessie Gruman, founder and president of the Center for Advancing Health. Having faced cancer five different times, Jessie wrote the book to help people with the practical and essential aspects of care that are necessary after the doctor delivers bad news.
The AfterShock app is a pocket-friendly, condensed version of need-to-know information, with first-hand accounts from people like you who were faced with a serious diagnosis, with advice on:
Getting Through the Shock
Learning About Your Diagnosis
Learning About Treatment Options
Finding Good Doctors and Hospitals
Getting a Second Opinion
Making Your Appointments
Finding a Little Relief
Each section in AfterShock describes the tasks you'll face and offers things to consider and links to reliable resources, including some from the Center for Advancing Health's “Be a Prepared Patient” website. The Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people find good health care and make the most of it. Your experience with your diagnosis is unique to you, so you may find some sections more useful than others.
We hope AfterShock is a helpful companion and organizer during this unstable period. At a time when little may be certain and you are faced with many choices, AfterShock shows you some steps you can take to live for as long and as well as you can.
patient & advocate
I wish this app had been available for my friends in recent years when they got news about cancer and other life-changing conditions. The advice is practical -- the app guides you through some immediate steps to get a handle on the situation, which includes taking care of yourself during an very stressful period.
it's easy to find basic info that you want (e.g., why get a 2nd opinion?) but also simple to skip over anything that's not relevant. A great feature is that it interfaces with iCal and Contacts. I like the notes feature, which is a place to jot down things you want to remember. Finally, there's a handy page to record basic info (insurance coverage, physician, emergency contacts, allergies) that every provider asks you for.
I will definitely recommend this to other people if they have the unfortunate need for it.
PS If you have trouble downloading the app, make sure your iPhone settings specifically permit apps rated 17+. Once I changed mine from 12+ to 17+ (Settings->General->Restrictions->Apps), the app loaded immediately.
A "standard" for empowered patients
This work is by the remarkable Jessie Grumman, whose credentials are well reprinted on Wikipedia:
"At 20 she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. As was customary at the time, she was treated with heavy doses of radiation, which is now known to often lead to a succession of cancers later in life. At 30 she developed cervical cancer, and at 50 she developed colon cancer. At 57 she was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which she announced on the Center for Advancing Health's blog. At 59 she was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer.
"As president of the Center for Advancing Health Gruman drew on her own experience of treatment for five cancer diagnoses, interviews with patients and caregivers, surveys and peer-reviewed research to describe and advocate for policies and practices to overcome the challenges people face in finding good care and getting the most from it."
The app itself is an accessible and useful version of her book, AfterShock: What to Do When the Doctor Gives You — or Someone You Love — a Devastating Diagnosis.