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🇺🇦 SCALLY – a chat app that takes care of cancer patients caregivers

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Cancer is a serious disease that places an emotional burden not only on patients but also on caregivers. SCALLY, a pioneering startup, has recognized this often overlooked aspect and developed a chat app specifically designed to support and empower cancer patient caregivers.

Globally, about two out of five cancer patient caregivers have tested positive for depression, which requires due attention. Routine screening for depressive symptoms and providing psychosocial support to caregivers is proven to be of critical importance.

Caregivers often struggle with anxiety, worry, and burnout, and find it difficult to find support or guidance along the way. With a deep understanding of the challenges these caregivers face, SCALLY aims to create a psychologically healthy environment that promotes the overall well-being of both caregivers and patients.

Globally, about two out of five cancer patient caregivers have tested positive for depression!

In this article, we will explore SCALLY’s features, benefits, and impact in supporting caregiver well-being, as well as its appeal to potential investors.

Understanding the caregiver journey

Caring for a cancer patient brings with it a host of emotional challenges. Fear of the diagnosis, uncertainty about the next steps, and overwhelming anxiety can be debilitating. Caregivers often find themselves at a loss for how to effectively communicate the disease to others or how to maintain their own well-being in the midst of the demanding role they play.

The question of how taking on caregiving responsibilities affects caregivers’ mental health and the psychological consequences of doing so has always been one of the most important questions to answer regarding caregivers’ mental health. Stress, anxiety, worry, depression, isolation, and anger are among the psychological consequences of caregiving that have been examined in the existing literature (Given et al., 2012).

Depression and anxiety are among the most common psychological outcomes reported in previous studies, ranging from 52% to 94% among family caregivers (Thrush and Hyder, 2014).

Depression and anxiety are among the most common psychological outcomes reported in previous studies, ranging from 52% to 94% among family caregivers (Thrush and Hyder, 2014).

Unfortunately, caregivers often lack the support systems they need to take care of their own needs. They need someone to remind them that everything will be okay and to encourage them to prioritize their own lives, hobbies, and desires. The lack of guidance and guilt over taking time away from the patient contributes to their emotional exhaustion and burnout.

Family caregivers often face significant physical strain due to the demands of caregiving, such as assisting with daily activities, managing medications, and accompanying the patient to medical appointments. In addition, the financial burden of cancer treatment, including medical expenses and potential loss of income, can be a significant burden for both caregivers and family members.

A variety of products and support solutions

Caregivers and family members of cancer patients have access to a variety of products and solutions to support them in their role.

  • Family caregiver support programs offered by hospitals, cancer centers, and community organizations provide tailored information, education, counseling, and resources.
  • Online support communities allow caregivers to connect with others and offer support, advice, and a sense of belonging.
  • Respite care services provide temporary relief by arranging professional care for the patient so caregivers can take a break and attend to their own needs.

  • Technological advances such as mobile apps, telemedicine services and wearable devices help caregivers manage medications, track appointments and monitor symptoms.
  • Educational resources such as books, online courses, and webinars help caregivers understand cancer treatments and manage side effects.
  • Financial assistance programs help ease the financial burden through grants, scholarships, and direct support.
  • Professional caregiver services provide trained professionals to help with daily activities and medical care.

These resources aim to support caregivers and loved ones and ensure they receive the help, information and respite they need to maintain their well-being while providing care. It is important to note that access to these resources may vary by state depending on availability, and there may be a cost to the state and insurance companies.

Numerous mobile apps are available

There are several technological solutions available today to support cancer patients, caregivers, and their loved ones. These solutions aim to improve patient care, enhance communication, and provide tools for better management of the disease. We will focus on mobile apps for cancer care.

There are numerous mobile apps designed to help cancer patients and their caregivers. These apps can help with medication reminders, symptom tracking, managing appointments and communicating with healthcare providers.

They can also provide educational resources, supportive content and access to online communities to share experiences and seek support.

Apps can help with medication reminders, symptom tracking, managing appointments and communicating with healthcare providers.

Some of the most popular apps for caregivers include CareZone, Lotsa Helping Hands, CaringBridge, Cancer.Net Mobile, My Cancer Coach and Caregiver’s Touch.

However, not all Apps follow the same goals. For this reason caregivers should read user feedback and ensure the app they choose meets their specific needs and is available for their mobile platform and region.

Empowering caregivers with SCALLY

SCALLY is a young company from Ukraine, founded in 2022 by Georgy Akimov in Kyiv, Ukraine. The SCALLY team’s mission is to create a psychologically healthy environment for cancer patients who are successfully treated and to provide direct support to caregivers.

The SCALLY team, consisting of Georgy Akimov as CEO, Oncopsychologist Viktoriya Kostecka, STO Anton Halytskyi, UI /UX Designer Lyusya Ivanova, and Strategy and Communications Specialist Marina Zaporozhets, work together to create a comprehensive and user-centered experience for caregivers. Their passion for fostering a culture of self-care and support drives continuous improvement in SCALLY’s features and services.

In response to these critical needs, the SCALLY team has developed a chat app that serves as a trusted companion for caregivers. SCALLY uses prescribed algorithms to assess caregivers’ emotional state and provides cognitive-behavioral therapy exercises tailored to their needs. By focusing on caregiver well-being, SCALLY ensures a holistic approach to cancer care.

Finalists in the Pirate Summit’s “Walk the Plank” pitch competition

SCALLY is more than a simple chat app. It is a comprehensive mental health app designed specifically for informal caregivers and family members of cancer patients. While the app is not intended to replace traditional therapies and human relationships, it provides a unique resource that complements existing support systems. With SCALLY, caregivers gain access to a range of features related to their emotional well-being.

The Pros and Cons of Healthcare Chatbots

The SCALLY Project was funded primarily by its co-founders, who invested $30,000 of their own money. In addition, the startup recently received a $3,000 grant at a hackathon. However, to fully realize its vision and improve the app’s capabilities, SCALLY needs to raise an additional $230,000 over a 9- to 12-month period.

And SCALLY team are finalist in the Pirate Summit’s “Walk the Plank” pitch competition in June 2023.

pirate summit

The “Walk the Plank” pitch competition is an international startup competition where every year selected startups take the stage and fight for what they believe in: their vision.

In this article, you can find the coupons with a 20% discount on the tickets for this year’s Pirate Summit. The pitch competition will take place on June 28, 2023 in Cologne, Germany.

What is oncology psychology?

Oncology psychology, also known as psycho-oncology, is a specialty area of psychology that addresses the psychological, emotional, social and behavioral aspects of cancer. It involves providing support and therapeutic intervention for people diagnosed with cancer, their families, and the medical professionals involved in their care.

Oncology psychologists work closely with other members of the healthcare team, such as oncologists, nurses, social workers and other mental health professionals. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that cancer patients receive comprehensive care that incorporates both medical and psychological perspectives.


SCALLY follows the goals of oncology psychology, whose primary goal is to improve the overall well-being and quality of life of cancer patients by addressing their psychological and emotional needs.

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The app is not intended to replace traditional therapy or human relationships. Rather, it complements existing resources by offering a different approach to seeking help. Features SCALLY is offering to its users are:

SCALLY encourages caregivers to put their own needs first by providing a set of features and tools that empower and support them. By focusing on their own well-being, they can better care for their loved ones.

SCALLY complements existing resources by offering a different approach to seeking help.

SCALLY draws on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy to provide caregivers with exercises and techniques to help them manage stress, anxiety and other emotional challenges. From gratitude journals to breathing exercises and meditations, SCALLY gives caregivers effective strategies to reduce anxiety and improve their overall mental well-being.

With SCALLY, caregivers can track their mood and well-being, ensuring they stay on top of their emotional state. In addition, the app makes it easier for them to communicate and connect with counselors and mentors for advice, support, and a listening ear when they need it most.

SCALLY is more than just an app; it creates a community of caregivers who can connect, share experiences, and support each other. This sense of belonging and shared understanding is invaluable when it comes to meeting the challenges of caregiving.

SCALLY recognizes the importance of privacy and employs robust security measures to protect sensitive user data. The app follows hospital security policies and procedures, ensuring that all data is encrypted both in transit and at rest using advanced encryption standards.

Moreover, SCALLY adheres to GDPR and HIPAA regulations and guarantees anonymization and secure transmission of user data.

In addition to these features, SCALLY also plays a critical role in ensuring patients receive their medications on time. Taking medications on time is vital during cancer treatment and rehabilitation, and SCALLY helps caregivers track and monitor a patient’s medication schedule.

You can download the app for Android users HERE!

You can download the app for iPhone users HERE!

The business model

Currently, SCALLY is available for free to caregivers in Ukraine. However, the startup plans to offer its product as a subscription package to clinics and insurance companies for about $120 per month. By targeting these institutions, SCALLY aims to provide broad access to its services and ensure sustainability and growth.

One of the challenges in implementing the business model is the perception of chat apps and people’s willingness to pay for such services. The startup is aware that trust and willingness to invest in real people, such as doctors, are barriers to adoption.

However, in societies where technology plays an important role in daily life, and culture is inclined to this kind of assistance, the potential for acceptance and adoption could be higher.

Our insights

SCALLY is a pioneering startup that recognizes the immense challenges facing cancer patient caregivers. SCALLY provides a comprehensive and customized solution that enables caregivers to prioritize their well-being, reduce anxiety, and build a supportive community.

Through its unique features, commitment to privacy and security, and dedicated team, SCALLY’s scalability seeks to fill a major gap in many countries where there is no government or private program to care for cancer patients. Where people close to the patients need to be empowered to become effective caregivers.

This is a great niche for this solution, which may have difficulty finding its early adopters in many countries around the world where the culture of patient care is different and a solution like SCALLY is not necessarily needed.

Compared to other countries where healthcare is in the hands of the state and insurance companies, SCALLY, with its community-building features, can quickly accelerate its networking effect among the caring population.

SCALLY faces several challenges in developing a working business model and integrating useful functions based on AI technologies. One of these challenges is the need to work with oncologists in Europe who may not be adequately qualified to provide psychological care. By bridging this gap, SCALLY aims to improve the overall care and well-being of cancer patients and their caregivers.

Although, with the incorporation of AI technology, we believe this app can close this gap even faster in countries where healthcare facilities and insurance companies are willing and have a keen interest in tracking patients’ progress and adjusting their services accordingly to make them more efficient and cost-effective.

The SCALLY team is a finalist in the Pirate Summit’s “Walk the Plank” pitch competition.

The pitch competition will take place on June 27th and 28th 2023 in Cologne, Germany.

-> The 20% discount for the Pirate Summit 2023 tickets published in this article can be redeemed here!


About the Author:

Marko Lavrenčič, M.A. is a startup mentor and news editor who has managed and mentored dozens of startups. He mentored startups in the largest regional business accelerator ABC, while also mentoring high school classes. He has founded a number of SaaS brands including the online real estate search engine Gohome in markets in Slovenia, Italy and Serbia. He is the author of a number of articles and co-author of TV news stories for the first German national TV channel ARD and European ARTE TV, covering politics, elections, startups, the migrant crisis, business and sustainability. He can also be found on LinkedIn and is happy to be contacted. He also reports on regional business development opportunities and edits content on,

Thrush, A., and Hyder, A. A. (2014). The neglected burden of caregiving in low- and middle-income countries. Disabil. Health J. 7, 262-272. doi: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2014.01.003
Given, B. A., Given, C. W., and Sherwood, P. (2012). The challenge of quality cancer care for family caregivers. Semin. Oncol. Nurs. 28, 205–212. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2012.09.002


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