Why the Time Is Right for Cancerlife! (3 Reasons Why This Is the Right Product at the Right Time!)

It's been a long 4 years since I began this journey.  I have been rejected a thousand times by doctors, hospitals, administrators, and non-profit executives but as we prepared for our third revamp of Cancerlife which we are calling the “WhatsApp for cancer families”, I could not be more excited. The market is hot for what we have to offer and as they say, the secret to life as an entrepreneur is “good timing."  Here are three reasons why I feel this is the right time:

  1. The Age of Patient Generated Data is here!

As Meaningful Use 3 rules are finalized, coupled with MACRA incentive program, it is very clear that in order to truly get patients to “engage with their care”, their personal health information (survey, device measurements, and Fitbit data) must be added to their medical record. Of course, the issue will continue to be about exactly what data doctors might actually need vs the endless quantity that is possible in the wearbable world. But the point is that PGD has a seat at the table and that this is the natural evolution is a remote monitoring “keep them out of the ER” world. Ironically, I have been speaking about this for years and Cancerlife always was about “how the patient was doing” with the endless amount of symptom issues that cancer care can cause. When I showed the first beta versions of Cancerlife to doctors and nurses is scared the living hell out of them. More data = More Work…it took me a long time to realize that most doctors and nurses prefer the “don't ask don't tell” policy…If they don’t speak up then its “Not my problem”. Today this is changing and Cancer care teams are slowly realizing that capturing symptom issues upfront really does increase quality of life for patients and improves their patient experience metrics. Also, instead of asking 20 symptom questions each time, by using Cancerlife the data is all right in front of them…now they simply focus on 3 or 4 issues that are having the biggest impact. Cancerlife actually makes life easier for both doctors and nurses.

Meaningful Use 3 will also require EHR vendors to provide API access to each persons medical record so that Digital health companies can provide solutions to improve patient engagement. Goodbye Portals!!!! Hello Disease specific digital health therapies.

2) CMS launches Oncology Care Model with over 3200 oncologists and 17 Payers!

Finally, the day is here and Medicare is launching the Oncology Care Model with 200 Oncology practices which services 155,000 patients. This is a key milestone and in some cases historic. Doctors will be paid with incentives on Quality of life metrics and lower hospitalizations by providing patients with 24/7 access to the care team. 17 other payers are participating in the program as well. Cancerlife is a perfect mobile support platform for this initiative …since a lot of the time the patients end up finally picking up the phone after its too late and a hospitalization is needed anyway. But this is a huge step where oncologists finally have an incentive to intervene. Again, 3 years ago I showed several of the most innovative practices a platform where patients could be triaged and set with action alerts at critical moments…even telemedicine visits where a part of it…..Too radical then but not out of the question today and moving forward.

3) The Payers have their acts together finally and are excited about digital health!

One of my biggest mistakes early was focused too heavily of the hospitals and doctors. Ultimately, the Payers are paying the bill and they are desperate to provide better tools for patients going through cancer treatment…the cost model for cancer care continues to explode and those highly personalized immunotherapy drugs that patients want are not getting any cheaper. The only place they can address is the delivery of cancer care and make it easier for families to coordinate between family members.

The reality is 30% of the cost of Cancer Care is spent on unnecessary hospitalizations and as explain on the oncology care model…this is something than can be address using a mobile based care management platform like Cancerlife. As Caremore CEO, Sachin Jain said recently that we are very interested in any solution that “improves the patient and caregiver experience for cancer families!”

Cancerlife has arrived!!!!

In a nut shell, Cancerlife is a simply text based user experience which allows patients to broadcast their health status to family members while at the same time captures critical Patient Generated Data which can be used to reduce hospitalizations and improve quality of life for caregivers and patients.