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(Credit: KCKate16/iStockphoto)

The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than one million people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Of that number, more than 600,000 will lose the battle.

The creators of the Driver app (iOS, Android) wondered if patients were getting the best care available along with a wide range of treatment options.

"Hyperdrive is equivalent to being simultaneously evaluated at over 30 cancer centers in the United States, which today is physically impossible and prohibitively expensive," the company said on its site.

SEE: Apple's iOS Health Records tool now supports more than 75 healthcare providers

Driver's process is intended to save you the massive amount of searching and travel some patients endure to find treatment options. Driver is working with 36 cancer centers at hospitals around the world. If you sign up with Driver, your medical records and tissue sample will be analyzed by hospitals like the Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Columbia University Medical Center.

"Because Driver has direct relationships with leading institutions, Driver expedites the process of booking an appointment for final evaluation at the selected cancer center," Driver said on its site.

Driver offers two options: Hyperdrive and Everdrive. Hyperdrive is for individuals with a cancer diagnosis to learn about advanced treatments around the world. Everdrive is for cancer survivors to take preventative measures against relapse.

Hyperdrive users your medical records and takes a sample of your tumor tissue, while working in tandem with your physician. After Driver analyzes the information it will generate your standard of care and advance treatment options available.

Hyperdrive will connect you with an oncologist to explain everything and talk through options. You can select a cancer treatment center through the Driver Network and the app will fast-track an appointment at the hospital of your choosing.

After you complete treatment, you can use Everdrive to help you stay prepared for any possible relapse. If your cancer returns and you've been an Everdrive member for more than six months, you get access to Hyperdrive for free.

Everdrive's protection is $20 per month. To get Hyperdrive, if you weren't initially an Everdrive member, is $3,000 and the $20 monthly. If you use the service for a year, that's $240 with the subscription alone.

Driver's FAQ said that insurance companies can't subsidize the cost of Driver currently. Unless you have a few thousand dollars to spare, the company suggests starting a GoFundMe (iOS, Android) account to help pay for the service.

On average, an eight-week chemotherapy regime costs upwards of $30,000 per month, with the first treatment costing about $7,000. If you need surgery, the procedure alone can be almost $40,000. Costs hit the uninsured especially hard. Without insurance, one injection of the cancer drug oxaliplatin can cost more than $6,000.

It's not unheard of for people with steep medical bills to turn to crowdsourcing for financial help, but the high cost of Driver might deter people from trying it. On top of the options that Driver can find you for $3,000, you still have to pay for the actual treatment.

Patients might also be hesitant to trust Driver with such sensitive information as medical records and tissue samples. Driver said its program is HIPPA-compliant and abides by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH).

"We will only use your data to help you find treatments or help other cancer patients find new treatments. We will only use and share your data in ways that we have explicitly outlined in our privacy policy and informed consent forms." Driver said. "We will store your medical records for a minimum of 10 years. You may request that we return your records at any time."

Driver calls the healthcare marketplace "broken," which is why its service is needed.

"Driver is shifting the power to the patients, giving them unprecedented access to information and treatment options," the website said.

If Driver operates as it claims to, it could be instrumental in changing healthcare and outcomes for people around the world.

According to CNN, China has more cancer cases than any other country in the world. In 2014, more than 10,000 people were being diagnosed with the disease daily. The country lacks enough doctors to handle the population, creating wait times that can go for months.

In its feature story, CNN spotlighted how Driver is helping people in China get access to treatment faster and with a wider variety of options. Unfortunately, because of the price, Driver services are being offered to the wealthy in China first.

Driver told CNN that they hope to lower prices soon and get free access to lower-income patients.

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(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)

Takeaways

  1. The Driver app offers cancer patients and survivors access to almost 40 treatment centers around the world to help find the best care faster.
  2. Driver offers Everdrive for people in remission and Hyperdrive for people with a diagnosis. Hyperdrive costs $3000 and then $20 per month. Everdrive is $20 per month, but if your cancer returns, you get access to Hyperdrive for free.

Also see

Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.