SECOND ears: Development of an audio-recording app for patient consultations

Our research has found that a lot of information is provided to patients at their hospital appointments, and this can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if people are feeling anxious, upset, or have been given some bad news. Giving patients audio-recordings of their hospital consultations has been successful and beneficial for English-speaking oncology patients, particularly in improving understanding and recall of information given. They also allow patients to assume a significantly more active role in subsequent consultations and in treatment decision making, and provide patients with a means to initiate treatment discussions with family.

This trial aims to develop an app to provide this service for all patients coming for appointments at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

The SECOND Ears smartphone app will be designed to facilitate the audio-recordings of hospital consultations, with a focus on convenience, and feasibility. As a native smartphone app, it aims to incorporate existing and available technology in an economically affordable and sustainable way.

The SECOND Ears app will record consultations and store them with patient's medical records at Peter Mac. It will also allow patients to securely access copies of this recording via the patient's nominated email account.

Currently we are testing the Second Ears app. Patients coming into the hospital for appointments may be invited to download and use the app, and provide feedback. Doctors and other hospital staff will also be invited to provide feedback too.

Results will be used to implement the app into a hospital setting.


Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre


Peter MacCallum Foundation

Victorian Managed Insurance Authority

Cancer Experiences Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Principal Investigator/s

Ms Amelia Hyatt

Phone: (03) 8559 7837

Email: [email protected]

Contact details 

Ms Ruby Lipson-Smith

Project Manager

Email - [email protected]

Mr Byrce Morkunas

Research Assistant

Email - [email protected]