Cancer Central Collaborates with Sparkcentral to Better Connect UK Cancer Patients

Leading digital messaging provider helps connect those affected by cancer with businesses and organisations using latest communication channels

Cancer Central, a non-profit dedicated to helping cancer information seekers, today announced that it will be integrating Sparkcentral’s innovative communication technology to its centralised cancer platform. The digital platform’s collaboration with the Belgium- and San Francisco-based software company will enable people in the UK to contact a host of cancer-related businesses directly, via popular channels such as web chat, SMS, and WhatsApp.

Cancer Central’s CEO, Avril Chester, founded the company in 2018 after surviving breast cancer in 2015/2016. During her treatment, she attempted to arrange a visit to buy a hat, only to discover that cancer products, services and support was scattered all over the internet.

“There was no one centralised place that signposted to everything we or those close to us would likely need,” Chester explained. “Even if we knew what we were looking for, there were products and support we didn’t know existed and therefore never found. I couldn’t help thinking that going through cancer was difficult enough without having to do a slew of research. So, I created Cancer Central to wind all the threads around one common spool, a concept that we’ve dubbed Cominovation [community + innovation].”

Though still in its infancy, the newly launched site aims to be a comprehensive and personalised digital directory, a centralised source of cancer information from point of diagnosis, treatment and beyond. “We want Cancer Central to reach as many people as possible with the products and services that they need,” Chester said. “We hope to accomplish this by partnering with solution providers such as Sparkcentral to offer our customers the best in available technology.”

Cancer Central’s partnership with IBM Watson and TechFINIUM created “Ask Ave,” a digital assistant that employs conversational search to customise information based on geography and cancer type. Now, the organisation’s collaboration with Sparkcentral provides a direct way for users to contact cancer-related companies via popular communication channels, such as chat, SMS, and WhatsApp.

“We’re thrilled that Sparkcentral’s technology will allow us to make the process of finding support and purchasing cancer services even easier for our users,” Chester stated.

According to the most up-to-date statistics released by the UK’s Office of National Statistics, there were 303,135 registered cancer patients in 2016. Most prevalent among men 65 years of age and older, the disease’s most commonly reported cases are breast (15.2%), prostate (13.4%), lung (12.7%), and colorectal (11.5%).

Sparkcentral’s VP of Product Marketing, Tobias Goebel, said, “It isn’t always easy for people to speak about health matters with others, so messaging is a natural fit. Sparkcentral’s goal was to create a single, easy-to-use communication platform for the in-demand channels that people are already using to contact their family and friends. We’re excited to see how Cancer Central’s integration of our software will benefit those who are fighting the disease.”

Research indicates that non-voice communication, including text and messaging apps, are on the rise. According to industry expert ContactBabel, 29 percent of UK Millennials are willing to use automation and self-service technology, verses only 9 percent of Baby Boomers. They’re also more likely to gravitate toward web chat and other agent-supported digital channels in situations that involve high levels of complexity, urgency, and emotion. This supports Sparkcentral’s own findings, which indicate that people around the world spend 38 percent of their mobile time on social media and 33 percent on text messages.

About Sparkcentral

Based in Hasselt, Belgium, and San Francisco, California, Sparkcentral is a messaging customer service platform company with a mission to change the way customer service is delivered around the world. 1.5 billion people around the globe send tens of billions of messages on WhatsApp alone - per day. Yet very few of those messages go to businesses. Sparkcentral aims to change that. The company wants to spark a movement to connect businesses with customers through messaging, whether through social media or private messaging channels such as WhatsApp, Messenger, SMS text, live chat, or any other digital messaging means. Leading brands around the world rely on Sparkcentral’s Messaging Customer Service platform, including Netflix, Slack, KBC Bank, citizenM, JetBlue and Nordstrom. Learn more at www.sparkcentral.com.

About Cancer Central

Cancer Central is a community interest company headquartered in London, England. Founded in 2018, the company’s goal is to be a leader in the social impact business space with thanks to their pioneering approach, cominovation. Their vision is to create a comprehensive and personalised digital directory by connecting best of breed technology that services everyone affected by cancer in the UK by location and cancer type. Founder Avril Chester has been shortlisted as a finalist at the 2019 Women in IT awards, Entrepreneur of the Year category. Cancer Central’s digital platform is built on infoFINIUM. Visit www.cancercentral.org.uk to learn more.

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About Cancer Central

Digital Leaders HealthTech Innovation of the Year 2019. Cancer Central is a young award-winning social enterprise built on community, partnerships and a common goal to use tech for good. Created from over 40,000 donated hours by 250+ individuals & 35+ organisations with major contributions from TechFINIUM, Amido and ROQ, their vision is to become one of the leading HealthTech platforms delivering specialised online health hubs with Ask Ave, an AI Chatbot guiding people to the information they need.


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