Breastcancer.org

Breastcancer.org is a nonprofit organization that helps countless women and their loved ones make sense of the complex information available about breast cancer, so that they can be empowered to make the best decisions for their lives.

The breadth of work

A shared mission

Foraker Labs has been working with Breastcancer.org, one of the most heavily trafficked breast cancer websites in the world, since 2000. We share their mission and have been honored to contribute to many feature initiatives, including popular community discussion boards and a fully reponsive Ruby on Rails website for desktops, tablets and smartphones. Most recently, we have completely overhauled the system used to deliver personalized content to the members of the Breastcancer.org community.

Breastcancer.org

The personalization upgrade

For women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, this upgrade redefines what it means to engage with a health information website. Unlike most destinations, Breastcancer.org pushes highly relevant content directly to users, rather than relying on them to seek it out.

The process is simple. After users create their account, they’re guided to enter details from their pathology reports and diagnoses. Along with a few other questions, our intelligent algorithm matches them to articles and other information specific to their needs. This information then empowers them to reach out and consult with their doctors on treatments. The Breastcancer.org personalization engine delivers the right information to the right people at the right time. Click here to see how it works.

Breastcancer.org

The personalization engine algorithm

As a user enters details about their condition, our system associates that metadata with their account, in effect learning about their specific circumstances. As Breastcancer.org administrators manage the website, they also add metadata to articles, describing their contents. The personalization engine then matches results to users. For example, if an article is only relevant to people with Stage 1A cancer who are also under the age of 45, this level of detail can be captured and used to truly personalize the user’s experience. When a match is made, content is available immediately.

Breastcancer.org

The experience

Breastcancer.org is the first place to go after diagnosis — users count on the site to help them better understand and prepare for treatment. Through several rounds of user testing, we were able to see directly how important it is for women to have access to information that is customized for their journey.

Receiving a diagnosis is truly a life-altering experience and our goal was to make finding relevant information less daunting and to present it in an intuitive way. We strove to cut non-essential medicalese, while making sure to keep the tone of the experience intelligent and accessible to all women.

Jon Evans, Senior Software Developer

Several iterations of testing and remediation ensured that the application was easy to navigate and worked equally well on both mobile devices and the desktop. Treatment data entry was implemented as a multi-step process, with a single page for each step. It gives the user a clear sense of where they are, making a complex task as straightforward as possible.

Breastcancer.org

Looking ahead

In partnership with Breastcancer.org, we hope to continue to develop this rich new area of the application to include more benefits for users, greater assistance for health care providers, and better support of our metastatic members. Our ongoing goal is to help the world's women and their loved ones make sense of the complexities of breast cancer.

Key technologies

Ruby on Rails · Backbone.js · Postgresql · Amazon Web Services

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