OncoHealth Launches New Consumer Platform Bringing Digital Telehealth Services to People with Cancer
OncoHealth, a leading digital health company dedicated to oncology, today unveiled a new digital telehealth service for people with cancer. Iris™ by OncoHealth combines human-centered design, mobile technology, data, empathy, and specially trained oncology experts to deliver personalized, oncology-specific, 24×7 telehealth support to patients and their families facing cancer.
OncoHealth will launch Iris in collaboration with three of the nation’s leading health plans—Point32Health, HealthPartners, and a large regional plan in the Midwest. Beginning this spring, all three plans will begin a defined roll-out to a subset of their respective members across five states.
“Whether you live close to the best cancer centers in the country or like the 32 million Americans who live in counties without an oncologist or access to cancer-specific mental health responses, what do you do when side effects show up after hours or you just need to talk with someone about your fears and anxiety? The absence of care during these critical moments contributes to higher utilization of acute care settings, including emergency department visits and hospitalizations,” said OncoHealth CEO Rick Dean. “Iris is there for the moments in between, providing access to high-quality cancer mental health care and physical symptom management, all at no cost to the patient, from the convenience of wherever they are, at the time they need it.”
OncoHealth designed Iris for patients with cancer and their caregivers, enabling them to connect with a team of dedicated U.S.-based oncology experts easily and securely via chat, phone, or video. This includes connecting with oncology nurses, social workers, psychologists, physician assistants, peer mentors, and MD, when and where they want, using their smartphones or a web browser.
Through Iris, patients who are enrolled in participating health plans will have access to previously unattainable benefits through each phase of their treatment journey. All are integrated together in a single platform. They are:
- Personalized 24×7 oncology nurse care. Cancer-related symptoms and side effect can lead to costly emergency department visits or even hospitalization. Having instant access to empathetic, trained oncology nurses can be a huge benefit. Through OncoHealth’s data, the oncology nurse will know the patient, the cancer type, and the current drug therapy the patient is receiving and be able to provide accurate medical advice when it’s needed most.
- Oncology-specific mental health care. Tailored specifically to patients with cancer, the Iris mental health solution supports patients who would like guidance on topics such as fear of recurrence, how to talk with their family about their diagnosis, and effective coping strategies for the emotional side of cancer. The mental health solution supports both self-directed work and telehealth appointments with trained cancer-specific mental health experts.
- Network of peer mentors. Patients using Iris will have access to people who share similar characteristics to members, such as their gender, age, cancer diagnosis, and treatment. Utilizing a peer mentor coach, members can use asynchronous communication (e.g., text messages) or live sessions to better understand the benefits and value of Iris while forming a trusted relationship with someone who’s been there.
- Peace of mind with expert reviews. Iris provides patients with a trusted second opinion on their cancer drug therapy, using evidence-based guidelines and personalized information including audio, video, and written content specific to their cancer or interest.
“With Iris, we are rethinking the way cancer patients are supported,” said OncoHealth Chief Medical Officer Andrew Norden, MD. “We know we can have a positive impact on the patient experience, improve care, and reduce costs, all while working in close collaboration with the patient’s primary oncologist and care team.”
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