Change the world


Being diagnosed with cancer or the Big C, as it is referred to, often feels as if the rug is pulled from under you. But taking the prevalence of cancer into account, NTT Data’s mobile application, C-Vive, can help to increase the awareness of cancer, even before a diagnosis.

The virtual launch of the application by NTT Data in collaboration with Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Community Technologies and OutSystems takes place on Thursday, 26 May at 17:00.

Everis, an NTT DATA Company designed and developed the outstanding app that led them to win first place and the Best User Experience Award in low code development platform OutSystems’s Build for the Future Hackathon that took place over five weeks last year.

Nuno Faro Gomes from developer NTT Data said the challenge presented to them was that the application should be used by anyone, anywhere irrespective of gender, age, education level, or circumstances at home. It should also be a tool to decrease stigmatisation.

He added that before the application’s technical aspects could be considered it was important to choose how the users would be reached.

“We wanted to reach as many people as possible, so we decided to go for a mobile application. We wanted to be culturally respectful, so we decided to support multiple languages.

“In addition, we wanted to ensure that content is always available, so we had to include an offline experience because the Internet is not universally available to everyone.

Gomes said because cancer is a sensitive matter, they decided to create an inclusive and calming design and an intuitive and smooth user journey with text, audio, and video content types.

CCT Director Prof Darelle van Greunen said with the prevalence of certain cancer types in the Eastern Cape, the centre decided that there was a need for the creation of a technical solution for awareness and mainly prevention, especially based on the local reality.

Being part of the OutSystems Education  Programme, the CCT realised that the OutSystems platform could help them reach the communities in rural areas of South Africa.

“The CCT is collaborating with CANSA on a variety of cancer-related projects. By collaborating with these organisations and oncologists working in rural communities, the need to understand the prevalence of different cancers became evident.

“Research has also shown that cancer patients seldom understand the disease, the treatment, its side effects, and the emotional impact the disease has on their lives and families. The lack of information and the misinterpretation of available information leads to fear and stigmatisation, resulting in evading medical advice and treatment. So, we are confident that the app would address all these challenges,” said van Greunen.

The app deals with lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, cancer symptoms, cancer treatment, and risks. It also has a section for cancer awareness campaigns as well as telephone numbers to call for assistance and support.”

“We also wrote and translated the English content to isiXhosa. The app has audio and video clips and is aimed at assisting people with all literacy levels,” she added.

Gerda Strauss from CANSA said according to the 2019 National Cancer Registry report, the top cancers affecting women in South Africa are firstly breast cancer and secondly cervical cancer.

“The top two cancers affecting men in South Africa are prostate cancer, which affects 1 in 15 men, and colorectal cancer, which affects one in 132 men. The stats for men and women exclude non-melanoma skin cancers, which are the second most common in both men and women.

‘In terms of children, currently, between 800 to 1 000 SA children are diagnosed with cancer annually. However, it is estimated that half of the children with cancer in South Africa are never diagnosed.”

She added that CANSA as the oldest and biggest cancer organisation in SA works towards a national cancer control programme that places a high value on awareness and risk reduction.

“The eleven official languages in South Africa complicate the message to the public as it is very expensive to cover all the awareness message in all languages.

“Ignorance, myths, fears, and stigma contribute towards late diagnoses and poor prognosis. CANSA, therefore, uses every avenue, partnership, and opportunity to get the message out there. We strongly believe that knowledge can help beat cancer.”

The launch can be viewed here:

Contact information
Professor Darelle van Greunen
Director: Centre for Community Technologies
Tel: 27 41 504 2090