The Opal App: a Dream Tool for Chronically Ill Patients
What is Opal?
Opal is a mobile application that offers patients the tools they need to better understand their condition and manage their appointments and wait times. Originally developed for people with cancer, it is intended to make wait times before and after appointments a little more tolerable.
To do this, Opal gives patients access to their test results and the tools they need to understand them. As such, patients are more knowledgeable before their scheduled follow-up appointment with their specialist.
Opal offers patients the tools they need to better understand their condition and manage their appointments and wait times.
Opal also groups together patients’ medical appointments in the same place. The app allows users to check in for their appointments using their phones and avoid the waiting room.
Who can use Opal?
Opal was tested by cancer patients and improved based on their feedback. With community and government support, the application is currently being made available to a wider variety of patients, starting with those suffering from chronic illnesses who require numerous medical appointments. In 2022, the pilot phase was launched to use Opal at the IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Clinic at the Montreal General Hospital.
The Foundation’s Role
In June 2019, the Opal application won the Prix d’excellence du Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux for the quality of its technology and its significant impact on the lives of the patients who use it. The Montreal General Hospital Foundation is proud to have contributed to this innovative project thanks to the generous support of Mrs. Louise Fast.
Laurie Hendren’s contribution to this project
We would like to recognize Laurie Hendren’s significant contribution to this project. Professor of Computer Science at McGill University and cancer patient, Laurie worked on the design, development and improvement of Opal with Dr. Tarek Hijal and Dr. John Kildea. We were very sad to learn of her passing in spring 2019. She has left behind an invaluable tool for everyone fighting cancer, like she did.