This App Bends Time For Cancer Patients Robbed of It

Edelman develops 'Time Keeper' for Janssen

If Dalí can bend time, so too should cancer patients who are stripped of it during treatments.

Janssen Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson company, has made improvements in treating multiple myeloma, an incurable form of blood cancer. So, Edelman came up with the idea of a smartwatch app that bends time for patients with the disease, prompting them to try new activities and stimulate their brain in-between treatments—making time feel longer.

Time Keeper, dubbed "the first clock that bends time when you feed it with an open mind," launched last week in the App Store. It connects to a user's smart watch and sends prompts throughout the day, encouraging them to try new activities. Users can personalize their interests from eight different categories: food and drink, exercise, games, music, creative activities, social activities, outdoor activities and mindful activities.

When the app, developed by Milo Creative, was initially concepted two years ago by Edelman, the idea was to get patients outdoors and out of their homes to experience new activities. When Covid emerged, events were shifted online via video tutorials.

The idea for a time-bending clock came from conversations that Janssen had with patients going through treatment. "When asked what was most important to them, patients responded 'time,' " says Rob Barlow, associate director, client team, at Edelman. "Janssen looked for new ways to help patients claim back their time."

Once an activity is selected, like log drumming, eggshell carving, beatboxing,  dancing or meditating, the Time Keeper clock appears on the user's Apple Watch. It's all color-based. As someone participates in an event, the dial color and speed change based on the wearer's heart rate and blood pressure. 

"The color wheel is not stuck in universal time," Martin Jon Adolfsson, creative director at Edelman, tells Muse. "There are 20 activities right now that can work regionally throughout the EMEA. Patients can get away from the stressfulness of universal time."

Janssen | Time Keeper

Supporting the app is a three-minute video, created by Tubby Brothers, that follows two multiple myeloma patients as they test the Time Keeper and partake in experiences that are new to them. 

The video was filmed remotely during Covid and participants set up cameras at home themselves. Norbert and Tatiana dance, make origami, beatbox, meditate, learn magic tricks and record new brain experiences, which, based on neuroscience, can help the participant feel like time is lengthening.

The video is running on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

"A person's time has been hijacked by cancer," says Adolfsson. "They made plans to retire and travel. Time is stolen from them, and this can help people steal back some of their time." 


Leader Therapeutic Area Communications & Public Affairs EMEA: Noah Reymond

Edelman UK
Chief Creative Officer: Stefan Ronge
Chief Creative Officer: Mattias Ronge
Creative Director: Martin Jon Adolfsson
Art Director: Juan Posada
Copywriter: Sean Cullivan
Designer: Joao Lauro Fonte
Technical Director: Myles Cameron
Innovation Director: Anders Hallen
Head of Operations, Healthcare: Ashlea Reece
Director: Jenni Mildon
Associate Director: Rob Barlow
Associate Director Digital Strategy: Kate Tagge
Account Manager: Isabelle Prestt Thomson
Account Executive: Isabella Montagna
Assistant Account Executive: Stephanie Campbell
Project Director: Emma Zadravetz
Executive Producer: Lucie Hackman
Senior Producer: Alex Shillingford

Digital Production
Milo Creative

Film Production
Tubby Brothers

Advertise With Us

Featured Clio Award Winner



The best in creativity delivered to your inbox every morning.