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 unwelcome 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 project developed an app to provide this service for all patients coming for appointments at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. The SECOND Ears smartphone app was designed to facilitate the audio-recordings of hospital consultations, with a focus on convenience, and feasibility. As a native smartphone app, it aimed to incorporate existing and available technology in an economically affordable and sustainable way. 

The SECOND Ears app recorded consultations and stored them with patient's medical records at Peter Mac. It allowed patients to securely access copies of this recording via the patient's nominated email account. 


  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre 


  • Peter MacCallum Foundation 

  • Victorian Managed Insurance Authority 

  • Cancer Experiences Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre 

Principal investigator and contact 

Ms Amelia Hyatt 

Phone: (03) 8559 7837 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Publications and presentations 

Conversation articles