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Brief Published: 10 Mar 2021

Start-Up Looks to Make Cancer ‘Less Lonely’


Medical innovation is far outpacing the development of modern patient support systems, a healthcare need that US start-up Alula is addressing with a smartly designed digital platform for cancer caregivers, patients and survivors.

Founded by a millennial cancer survivor, Alula is designed to simplify patient needs, starting with communication tools, such as customisable templates for relaying diagnosis news and sharable treatment calendars for enlisting friend and family help. An e-commerce component offers patient-recommended goods like at-home medical devices and stress-reducing supplements. There’s also a content library and, importantly, an upcoming community for patients to connect with one another. The company, which raised $2.2m in seed funds at launch, articulates its overall mission as “making cancer less lonely.”

As discussed in Empowering Future Patients, start-ups like media platform SurvivorNet are filling a void by providing up-to-date and easy-to-understand cancer information, while new millennial-launched platforms like Superbloom (see The Brief) aim to offer kinship for younger patients with chronic conditions. Also see The Brief for a new beauty platform that caters to cancer patients.

Health brands have the opportunity to back these initiatives or launch their own offerings that reimagine traditional patient-focused services through a more empathetic, digitally innovative and youthful perspective. See The Healthcare Opportunity for more on the compelling potential in healthcare for brands across industries.