Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

ColoDATES: an interactive colorectal cancer healthcare website

Technology #5935

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Mack Ruffin
Managed By
Drew Bennett
Associate Director - Software Licensing 734-615-4004

An interactive website can assist patients in choosing a screening method for colorectal cancer and induce them to seek preventative care necessary to improve outcomes. Within the US, colorectal cancer is the second-leading killer among cancers and the lifetime risk of developing the disease hovers around 5 percent for both men and women. When caught early, colorectal cancer patients enjoy a 5-year survival rate in excess of 90 percent. Unfortunately, only 4 in 10 cases are caught in time meaning that most patients begin treatment at later stages when 5-year rates drop by 25 percentage points.

ColoDATES website induces voluntary preventative screening

Since there is little difference among the efficacies of several different screening methods, identifying and accommodating patient preferences is a primary concern. Through an iterative design process, researchers at the University of Michigan have built an interactive, web-based module to help patients explore preventative screening options for colorectal cancer as well as educate them on the disease and its risk factors. Successive trial and revision development phases using patient interviews and focus groups were used to improve the content, navigation, and usability of the webpage. Subsequent randomized, controlled trials demonstrated that those who had visited the website were significantly more likely to seek colorectal cancer screening within 6 months of using the module.


  • Patient self-determination of risk for colorectal cancer
  • Patient self-selection of preferred screening method


  • Hybrid navigation layout guides patients
  • Provides relevant, accurate information to patients on demand