Collaboration to focus on developing and piloting first-ever integrated survivorship platform to help cancer survivors live better, healthier lives
Outcomes4Me Inc. today announced it is collaborating with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) to extend its patient app to include survivorship care, providing personalized evidence-based resources for patients that have been diagnosed with breast and prostate cancer. The collaboration, made possible by a National Cancer Institute (NCI) contract recently awarded to Outcomes4Me, will include integration into providers’ workflows to enable oncologists and primary care physicians to generate and manage the survivorship care plan. It will also include integration into the Epic electronic health record (EHR) system used at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Outcomes4Me and VICC will work to develop and pilot a first-of-a-kind integrated survivorship platform for providers, nurse practitioners and patients that automatically creates and updates the survivorship care plan. By integrating the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Survivorship and the latest evidence-based recommendations from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and other leading institutions, the platform will enable the care plan to be continuously managed — for example, through screening recommendations for secondary cancers and managing long-term adverse effects of cancer treatments.
“We’re eager to expand into survivorship care planning and to do so with a top-rated institution like Vanderbilt,” said Outcomes4Me CEO and co-founder Dr. Maya Said, who as principal investigator will oversee the NCI contract for the company. “This collaboration will help us deliver on our mission to empower cancer patients to take charge of their care not only during active treatment but also into survivorship, resulting in improved long-term outcomes and quality of life.”
Why Survivorship Care
Survivorship care planning has been recognized for over a decade as critical, including in a seminal 2005 National Academy of Medicine report, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor. Yet adverse health outcomes among cancer survivors still exist. With the rising proportion of cancer survivors in the United States — the number is expected to reach 21.7 million by 2029, up from 16.9 million in 2019 — there is an urgent and unmet need for increased cancer survivorship navigation to improve outcomes and emerging disparities.
Today, when a patient goes into survivorship, their care is transitioned from the oncologist to the primary care physician (PCP). In most cases, this burden is not well managed because the responsibility for care is placed on the patient and the scholarship of the PCP. Key challenges for patients navigating survivorship include the time it takes to collate information across different information systems, from patients and their caregivers, and from relevant clinicians. Add to this the cognitive burden of synthesizing this information, triaging key tasks and addressing patient needs in a timely manner, as well as the rapidly evolving science and the long-term impact of cancer treatment.
The overarching goal of the collaboration between Outcomes4Me and VICC is to improve long-term outcomes for patients with a history of cancer by improving follow-up and coordination across the healthcare system, the lack of which can lead to recurrence and lower quality of life.
Solving the Challenges of Survivorship Care with Technology
Technology can play a key role in improving outcomes during survivorship care. In addition to being integrated with Vanderbilt’s EHR, the Outcomes4Me platform will standardize survivorship workflows, resulting in a dynamic survivorship care plan that does not exist today. The app will engage patients with their treatment and ensure not only that the history of their care and treatment is available to both their PCP and oncologist, but also that the latest scientific advances and evidence-based information on survivorship is readily available to all. This digital approach to care management brings traditional paper-based care management into the 21st Century and enables the rapid dissemination of the latest advances in science.
“The Outcomes4Me collaboration will allow the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center to further expand the wide variety of wellness programs we offer to support patients from diagnosis through survivorship, including our leading REACH for Survivorship Clinic,” said Dr. Debra Friedman, co-principal investigator on the NCI contract and director of the Vanderbilt Cancer Survivorship Program at VICC. “Outcomes4Me has developed a personalized evidence-based app for newly diagnosed and in treatment cancer patients. We’re excited to collaborate with them to extend the platform into survivorship by addressing the various gaps and disparities in follow-up care.”
This project has been funded in whole with Federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. 75N91020C00046. This contract is funded in the amount of $399,721 by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award.