Maastricht UMC + wins the Roche Oncology Award with the 'Hoestie.nu ?’ project
On Thursday, 9 March, the 'Hoestie.nu?’ project won the 2017 Roche Oncology Award. 'Hoestie.nu?’ is an initiative from subject-matter expert Anna-Eva Tulkens (35) that is now a cooperative venture with Maastricht UMC+. The digital tool helps cancer patients keep their community informed about their illness. The prize for the most innovative project for the benefit of cancer patients, worth €50,000, was awarded to the Oncology Centre of Maastricht UMC+ during the multidisciplinary ‘Customised Treatment’ conference in Arnhem.
With cancer, communication between patients and their community is often a source of pressure. Patients feel a responsibility to keep everyone informed, but may have no energy to do so. At the same time, family and friends are sometimes uncomfortable or are afraid to reach out to them at all. That’s how subject-matter expert Anna-Eva Tulkens got the idea to develop a digital tool that lowers communication barriers and improves the psychosocial well-being of patients and their loved ones. To do that, she founded the Hoestie Foundation and collaborated with the Oncology Centre at Maastricht UMC+ to test, improve and scale the tool.
Virtual tool customised for cancer patients
The digital tool consists of a website that offers the patient and loved ones a shared, private and comprehensible virtual space for communication about various aspects of the disease process. For example, there is a timeline where important milestones such as treatments and tests can be added. There is also space for short updates and the patient can indicate how he or she wants to make contact with his or her community. Access to each part of the website can be customised. Some parts can only be accessible to family members, while others can also be readable by colleagues. ‘We are extremely proud and grateful to receive this award. Winning this award will allow the foundation to scale up its current website. This means we can process the feedback from the first test patients and then make the website available for use at Maastricht UMC+ and, in the long run, on a national level’, said Anna-Eva Tulkens.
Roche Oncology Award
The Roche Oncology Award is given to an initiative that makes an innovative contribution to the well-being of people with cancer and the improvement of oncological care. With this award, we want to offer a platform for special initiatives. Roche makes up to €50,000 available to a project that focuses on benefitting cancer patients, has an innovative character and improves oncological care or research. This is the third time this award has been given.
Entries were evaluated by experts who have made their mark in oncological care:
Prof J.J.M. van der Hoeven, internist-oncologist, Radboudumc, Nijmegen, jury chair
Dr M.W.J.M. Wouters, surgeon, NKI-AVL, Amsterdam, chair of SONCOS
Dr H.J. Bloemendal, internist-oncologist, Meander MC, Amersfoort, chair of NVMO
L. Roebers, research nurse, Rijnstate Ziekenhuis, Arnhem
Prof M.J. Kersten, hemaetologist, AMC, Amsterdam
A.J. Broenland, director of NFK
Prof A.C. Dingemans, pulmonologist, Maastricht UMC+, Maastricht
Dr M.T. op ten Berg, physician, Medical Director of Roche Nederland (non-voting member)