A cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest bits of information one can ever receive. In 2018, the National Cancer Institute estimated that during the year doctors would diagnose 1,735,530 new cases of cancer. The organization also estimated that 609,640 people would die from the disease in the same year. We’ve written about tech developed to help diagnose and differentiate cancer, but we’ve also noted other technologies that aid cancer patients after diagnosis and during treatment. We wrote about STREAM, a web-based stress-management program for cancer patients and a cancer treatment center in Sydney that partners with Samsung and a local virtual reality content developer to give patients opportunities to try their choices of VR experiences during lengthy chemo treatments.

Brian Shear, a first-year medical student at Central Michigan University College of Medicine created an ebook with information for brain tumor patients. Shear, a former Apple employee, started the book during his first summer internship at the Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. When Shear’s mentor showed him a 56-page text version of the information, he suggested converting the information from paper to electronic form that would be easier to read, cost less to produce, and would be accessible worldwide. The mentor and others at Smilow gave him the go-ahead and he produced the ebook in a few weeks.

Ebooks may seem relatively low tech compared to self-powering nanotube implants. The level of technology is not as important as is whether or not it can make a positive difference in a patient’s life. Ebooks are an eminently portable, inexpensive, and easy-to-update information format. In this case, the ebook fills a vital support role as a source of information about the disease and additional important resources that medical professionals believe can help patients during treatment.