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Proton U app officially unveiled in Apple’s App Store

Jan 24, 2017

An app created by Flagler College alumni to help kids undergoing proton therapy cancer treatment has made it through its various development stages, and is now available in Apple’s App Store.

From the fall of 2014 through the following spring, 18 students in Instructor Natalie Stephenson’s Interactive Design course designed and developed, with the help of a Microsoft developer, the app as a learning tool for children embarking on weeks of cancer treatment. The app guides children through the treatment process, easing any anxiety and fear.

"It's good to know that pediatric cancer patients from around the world can now use the app to prepare for their upcoming treatment," said Stephenson. The instructor was instrumental in setting up the partnership between UF’s Proton Therapy Institute and Flagler’s students.

Development of the app became a passion project for Graphic Design students, and also for others on campus. Theatre Arts students provided Proton U character voiceovers, a Communication student did the sound recording at WFCF, Flagler College Radio, and the Spanish department translated parts of the app into Spanish. Rosie Redmond, a Bistro staff member in the Ringhaver Student Center, created “Jefferson” stuffed animals, which has been used to comfort young patients — before and after treatment — at the institute.

Stephenson said she hopes the new app will inspire other organizations to adopt a similar tool.

“As the first mobile app to address this issue, we hope it becomes a model for other proton therapy centers,” she said.

To read the original story featured in the fall 2015 Flagler Magazine, visit here.

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